The meaning and use of sex drive, cellibacy and warrior chastity, according to Julius Evola

Foreword, C.A. (Author):

Desire is a thought. Thoughts occupy the mind. The mind enacts will. Will is power. Desires, therefore, steal our power unless they are harnessed.

The goal of chastity, according to Evola, is not to remove the sex drive but to productively weaponize the sex drive to attain virulent manhood, known in Hinduism as virya. This virya can then be utilized in a variety of disciplines, including shamanic, meditative and millitary applications. Evola refers to this weaponization of sex drive as “transmutation” and scorns the Biblical reasoning behind cellibacy, preferring the tantric Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

The Hindu term ojas is roughly synonymous with the English “vitality” or “rigour”, the sensation of being charged with energy. Ojas is said to be stored within the heart chakra.

Evola also uses this passage to clarify the nuanced differences between eros, libido and sex drive, touching upon the works of Sigmund Freud. Evola clarifies that the sex drive does not merely encompass primative, carnal and illogical desires, but can be an asset to esoteric, tantric practitioners. However, Evola explains that the practice of cellibacy is meaningless for an individual who has no use for additional ojas.

Warriors and holy men throughout the ages have practiced cellibacy for a varying number of reasons, and to me its applications are just as fascinating and relevant today. We live in a world where sexuality is increasingly prevalent, publicly advertised and represents itself in increasingly disturbing forms, whether we like it or not. The ability to detach oneself from this stimulae is, in my view, vastly becoming an essential component to surviving The Crisis of the Modern World. As Nietzsche once said, if you stare into an abyss, the abyss will stare back at you. Don’t stare at the abyss!

Health and happiness! 🙂

An Aryan Indian Kshatriya. The Kshatriya, warrior caste,
traditionally practiced cellibacy.

An extract from Chapter VI of Julius Evola’s 1958 work Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex:

In the great majority of ascetic and initiatory traditions we meet the commandment to be chaste and to abstain from dealings with woman. In general this commandment is not properly understood because a moralistic meaning is attached to it. It is mistakenly be- lieved that the exclusion or elimination of the sex drive is desirable (“to make ourselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven,” as Matthew said). Sexual drive lies at the very root of the living individual, and to believe one can truly suppress it is self-delusion. At best it can be repressed in its most direct manifestations, but this will only lead to the neurotic and divided existence on which modern psychoanalysis has cast so much light. The only alternatives in coping with the sexual drive are to assert it or to transform it. When transmutation is not possible, repression is inadvisable from a spiritual point of view, for it may lead to inner paralyzing contrasts, to dissipation of energy, and to perilous displacements. Sufficient examples of this exist in emotionally based Christian mysticism.  

It is to the second possibility, transmutation, that the ascetic or in- itiatory commandment of chastity or continence is really addressed. Here it is not a question of eliminating the sexual energy but of relinquishing its use and dissipation in ordinary carnal and procreative intercourse. Its potential is conserved, but it is separated from the plane of duality and applied at a different level. We have repeatedly considered what eros can provide on the dualistic plane in relations between man and woman besides mere lustful sensuality (and we shall refer shortly to further and more precise teachings on this subject). The mystery of transmutation is concerned with a different field of capabilities, techniques, and inner procedures. However, we must first get a clear idea of what we are dealing with, especially because ambiguities may arise from the widely held views of contemporary psychoanalysis. First, when esoteric doctrines speak of sex, they refer to the mani- festation of a deeper and more elementary force than that which in the teachings of Freud is called libido or the pleasure principle; they refer to a force having a potential metaphysical value, as we made clear in examining the myth of the hermaphrodite.

Julius evola, circa 1912


The fact that sexual abuse can lead to nervous prostration and have a bad effect on the mental faculties, intelligence, and character is rather banal and well known and only of interest in relation to the personal psychic well-being of a normal man in common life. But the possible significance of sexual experience may cause many people to neglect such consequences, as pointed out in the discussion (in the appendix to chapter 2) of the values of erotic transcendence in the profane sphere. Besides such misuse, a possible depressive effect resulting from the practice of sexuality depends to a great extent on the system of coitus used, as we also saw. Finally, the more specific decision not to waste vital, nervous energy but to save it by restricting one’s sexual life is, from a spiritual point of view, of little interest unless one has in mind a higher use for that energy.

We are now ready to take up the theory of ojas and ojas-shakti. We can see the point in question even in a modern writer like Sivananda Sarasvati, although his considerations are often intcrsticcd with mat- ters of health and ethics. He wrote, “The seed is dynamic energy which has to be converted into spiritual energy” {ojas)> and added, “He who seeks divine realization with true zeal should observe strict chastity.” 3 Here we must make a distinction. On the one hand, what Sivananda said concerns a force that springs from all self-control and from all active inhibition. That law is in action which creates that most subtle and efficacious power of seduction exercised by the “chaste” type of woman. It is, therefore, not a question of sexuality alone. Sivananda acknowledged that “even wrath and muscular force can be transformed into ojas.” 4 It is an ancient esoteric teaching that the mastery of every impulse of a given strength, even if merely physical, frees a higher and more subtle energy; therefore, the same must be the case with sexual impulse and desire. As an outcome of the buildup of ojas in this way, there is contemplated, among other things, the formation of a special “magnetic aura” in a “personality that inspires a kind of holy awe,” together with the power of influencing other people by words or a mere look. ‘This same energy, ojas or ojas-shakti, can also be employed for contemplation and spiritual realization. ‘

In this connection we may add that the chastity which warriors undertook in various traditions, often among savage peoples, too, can be linked to this complex of ideas. It was a question less of saving physical energy than of accumulating a force that was to some extent supernatural and magical, in the same sense of ojas, for integration of the natural forces of the warrior. Such a context is explicit, for instance, in a well-known episode in the Mahabharata. 

We must now distinguish between the generic notion of ojas as a subtle force, which can even be produced by controlling elementary impulses other than sex, and virya, or spiritual manhood, which if lost or wasted results in death and if withheld and conserved leads to life. Vitya, as we said earlier, is linked to the seed, to such an extent that in the technical and mystical terminology of Hindu texts the word is often used to designate both. In this context we can under- stand the concept of the “aspirating death that comes from woman.” From metaphysical and ascetic viewpoints, that which is wasted in animalistic and lustful unions is not mere vital or nervous energy but rather the “being” principle of man, his transcendental manhood. It was in this connection that we recognized a higher form of manhood in the ascetic. This background is consistent with the specific doc- trine of transmutation and the upward flow of force, which flows downward in merely natural sex; this transmutation comes through practicing chastity and then making this force change its polarity. Now we can see why the commandment to practice chastity is also found in operational magic. Eliphas Levi rightly said that for a “wizard,” nothing is more deadly than the desire for sensual pleasure. Here the purely technical and nonmoral end purpose of the commandment to practice continence seems quite clear. The force gained through active inhibition and transmutation of sex in terms of transcendental manhood can also be used for “wicked” purposes. The commandment of chastity may be equally strict in operations of “white” or “black” magic.

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