Posted by Jim (22.214.171.124) on August 16, 2002 at 11:39:48:
In Reply to: Chastity - where does affection end and sexuality begin? posted by Gerry on August 14, 2002 at 06:16:04:
In response to the question, "where does affection end and sexuality begin," I would say at the point where it starts arousing passions. There's a phenomenon which makes that pretty easy to measure in a man. I can't speak for women.
I have an idea that the principle of chastity is about not pursuing sexual pleasure outside of the marriage prescribed by God. It isn't a matter of what touches what. Whatever you're doing, if it's holding hands, kissing, or just watching the sunset together, if you're doing it for the sake of the sexual pleasure it brings you, then it's unchaste.
When women and men hug in our society, are they doing it for the sexual pleasure it brings them? I suppose some are and some aren't. One reason I've thought of for not doing it, is similar to what I imagine is the reason that actors wear makeup: to make it easier for the audience to see their features. We are urgently called to hold up Baha'i standards for all to see. Avoiding hugging between women and men is one way to highlight our standard of chastity. What makes it so important is that the world is so desperately in need of this beacon. A picture is worth a thousand words. People are up to here with empty words. What they need to see is action. Deeds, not words, must be our adorning. We need to think not only of our comfort, and not hide our light under a barrel. What is the comfort of hugging each other worth, compared to the opportunity to let our light shine?
" O friends! Be not careless of the virtues with which ye have been endowed, neither be neglectful of your high destiny...Ye are the stars of the heaven of understanding, the breeze that stirreth at the break of day, the soft-flowing waters upon which must depend the very life of all men, the letters inscribed upon His sacred scroll. . ."
- Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. p. 196
Chastity is just one component of a spiritual discipline that God has prescribed for our well-being and progress.
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