Peter wrote:chownah said we must indulge our desires in order to be able to gain insight into them. To not indulge our desires he called asceticism falling outside the middle way. If this were true, then the Buddha gave his monastic order instructions which fall outside the middle way. Since it is absurd that the Buddha would have done this, we can conclude chownah's statements are likewise absurd.
I hope that in the future you will be more careful in trying to relate what I have posted. I hope that in the future you will give direct quotes from my previous posts to indicate what I have said because it seems that your interpretations fall far enough from what I posted that I feel that you are misrepresenting my posts. For example you say "chownah said we must indulge our desires in order to be able to gain insight into them." where as what I actually said was "you can't gain the insight into how attachments arise without them arising in my view"....you say I was talking about indulging desires while I was talking about attachments arising".
Also, I have no Theravada reference to support this view but it could be that the middle path is not a fixed formula but rather something that needs to be applied on an individual basis....that monastics would have a different "middle path" than a lay person would have for instance. I could discuss how and why this might be but it would just be me telling my views and would not have any Canonical backing. I don't know alot about the "middle path" and would be glad to learn more...if you (or anyone else) have a reference that talks about it and does so in a way that I can see what Threravada references are used for supporting the views given, I would be very happy if you (they) posted it here.
Also, I do know SOMETHING about the path.
Also, you say that you think that masturbating strengthens the fetter of sensual desire....and for all I know it may be true that for some people some time it does....on the other hand for all I know it may be true that for some people some time it doesn't. Ask an 18 year old newly wed male to stop having sex with his wife and instead masturbate and see if he thinks this will strenghten his fetter of sensual desire!!!!! Perhaps you have overrated masturbation and the power it exerts over those who do it....it seems quite likely to me that masturbation is probably one of the least desireable forms of sexual outlet for at least a large percentage of the population. And this brings me to a point I'm very interested in....that being I'd like to come to a better understanding of how your views on masturbation compare with your views on other forms of sexual behavior (should all of them equally be forgone?) and other forms of sensual desire (should rich deserts, watching video, listening to music be equally forgone?) . I'm just wondering if you have singled out masturbation for some reason and if so what is that reason why it deserves special attention.
Also, I haven't read the entire thread and am wondering if there is any Theravada Canonical reference which indicates that masturbation is a violation of the precept on sexual behavior.
P.S. you want examples of people who indulge every day.....pick 10 people at random off of the street and odds are that at least half of them qualify........as for eventually eradicating the fetter of sensual desire I guess I'm assuming that at least someone who indulges every day will eventually eradicate the fetter....seems like the Suttas probably have examples of people who indulged whole heartedly every day and then eventually became arahants.....or at least stream entereres I guess