Thursday, March 15, 2012

Richard Dawkins and Taoist sublimation of sexual energy

When I read Richard Dawkins' Selfish Gene many years ago, I was overwhelmed by his intelligence and insight. Fair to say his was not a scientific statement that empirical evidence can have a chance to falsify. And Dawkins acknowledged that too.  His insight does make good sense. And now at middle-age, I'm more "saddened" by his insight! The simple fact is, according to Dawkins, our gene will leave us to wither once we have passed the procreation period or once we have (supposedly) passed our gene to some new beings!

According to ancient Taoist belief, male after 56 and female after 49 have passed that pivotal point of pro-creation. And classic Taoist Neidan texts urged us to start doing the Taoist meditative practice before that age for more assured results of longevity or even immortality. The question is: How can the Taoists defy Dawkins' logic of selfish gene even if one can start practicing what good practice they recommended? The gene simply won't care the individual once he has passed the period of procreation (according to the Taoists: male from 16 to 56 and female from 14 to 49 - you're right male works with a multiple of 8 and female of 7).

The trick of the Taoists is to fool the genes through sublimation of one's sexual energy! The logic of the training method is as follows: before the definitive age, sexual impulse is still there; and through one's practice, sexual impulse will be sublimed into chi for spiritual purpose; and at an advanced stage of progress one's spirituality can turn the table around to stimulate one's sexual impulse for its continual sublimation even after the definitive age (though for how long, the classic texts didn't spell out). 

As with Dawkins statement, the Taoist statement is not a scientific statement. But I think like the Dawkins statement, the Taoist statement also makes some very good sense. It can at least give us some hope, if everything else fails...:):)

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