Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chapter 1: The Root of the Problem

The “great white father” of psychiatry, Sigmund Freud, came very close to basic truth, but before he had quite reached it, he veered off into the outer reaches of scientific confusion. If only he had been able to view the facts that his searching mind uncovered by the light of spiritual discernment, he might have discovered the truth about man’s nature.

He might have discovered, for instance, that the sex drive in man is somehow linked with and blossoms from a traumatic experience with a parent—long forgotten, of course, but nevertheless there at the core of his being, surrounded and hidden by the concentric growth rings of subsequent traumatic experiences that have blinded him to the original violation of his human identity. The first trauma sets the pattern, and becomes the nucleus for the problems that follow concentrically, one upon the other, until the original experience, the nucleus itself, is lost from the observation of the conscious mind. Notice I have said “observation,” not “memory.” The “memory” is “synonymous” with the experience itself.

Each emotional reaction is actually a traumatic experience for a human being—essential for animal growth, but not for human development. In fact, “animal” growth is inimical to human development, blunting our human perceptions at the point of unfoldment and supplementing them with the brutish reasoning of an “evolving body.”

In the beginning, then, the individual encounters an original traumatic experience that sets the wheel of his development in motion around an axis of emotional “turn-on” experiences. But this growth pattern carries him further from his true identity, or from the possibility of discovering that identity. The real identity of each of us exists as a potential not yet realized, buried somewhere within us, but prevented from expressing itself and unfolding in harmonious obedience to higher law, by the blocking power of emotion. Each emotional shock is another traumatic experience, another step away from the calm center of the true Self.

Now, it is an established biological fact that when living protoplasm (flesh) is exposed to stress, the reaction to that stress causes the body to absorb some of the nature (identity) of that stress (presence) permanently. The permanent impression left on an organism as a result of stress is called an “engram.” In other words, some of the outside environment gets inside the organism that reacts to it, makes a mark on it, and gives additional development to that life form. Evolutionists would term this process adaptation and evolution. The creature is subject to the impress of its environment, and it takes shape and adjusts according to the severity and type of pressure that is brought to bear on it.

Now, in what position does that place our “free moral agent” called “man”? Certainly, he is not very “free,” and stripped of control over the process, he cannot be very “moral.” Yet we know that man’s consciousness is subject to two distinct “tugs,” the tug of nature, and the counter tug of conscience. This tug-of-war for the carcass of man is the basis of his soul’s unrest. As the pressures of environment envelop him, he becomes increasingly obliged to obey that environment and dramatize its secret messages, codes, and implications.

We are surrounded by an environment composed not only of nature itself, but of other people with precisely the same problems as our own, subject to the environment that preceded them and fouled up by their forebears even as we have been by our own. All of us dramatize in the flesh the forces that have overshadowed us, and thus our behavior becomes an “environment” with a “message” to others.

Freud recognized that all our problems begin in childhood, and that parents are the primary problem producers. If we are victims of our environment, it is because our parents are wrong, and we shall surely inherit some of that wrong. We are somehow scarred at birth by what I would like to call an inherent error that lurks in the parent undetected. Then the child becomes the parent, and the process continues. Surely this is the meaning of “being born in sin.”

There is not one single person who does not have a crippling problem. The entire human race is made up of emotional cripples who are confused, irrational, or downright cruel. Rich or poor, and of whatever ethnic background, each child comes into the world preceded by tyrants. Let’s call them “victim-sinners,” as the word “sin” denotes a deviation, while “victim” denotes helplessness. The fleshly presence of this deviation in the form of a parent is the “ministering angel” that shocks the infant to change the course of its development. In time, the child also grows up to be a parent, complete with inherited defects and the authority to relay the error to the next generation.

Perhaps there is some truth to the biblical statement that man is born in sin; that is, we are born subject to powers that are able to corrupt our nature and enslave our minds to serve them in a meaningless existence. And the root of this process is what we are going to examine from every conceivable viewpoint.

One way to prove a theory is to start with the assumption that it is true. If we can then arrive at other observable facts without contradicting our original assumption, we may assume our theory to be sound. This is the course I have taken to establish one fact, as your previous conditioning would undoubtedly have “turned you off,” had I opened my remarks with something like “original sin.”

But bear with me please. Your problems do have a place of origin. There must have been a first time, at least for you. For you, it was undoubtedly the first time someone hurt you or failed you in some way, and you reacted. And it was the same with your parents and your grandparents and as far back as you can trace your ancestry until you finally arrive at the “original” experience.

Secondly, there must have been a weakness existing in your nature that allowed error to cohabit with you—and once it did, you became weaker and the error got stronger. It happened again and again, and the fault was bound to grow as long as it went uncorrected. What you could not resist once, you could not resist twice, and so on. Thousands of emotional experiences (temptations) later, you have a full-blown problem.

The problem at first may appear to be a small one, but as long as the pulse beat of (bad) emotional experience continues, so will impressions be left behind in mind and flesh to manifest themselves in our behavior and way of life and become parents to the next problem. In this way, cannibals become “good” cannibals, and communists become “good” communists, but never good people.

We become like our parents, taking upon ourselves their ways and traditions. If our parents were unreasonable, then we will be too (naturally!). Of course, some children rebel against the takeover of their identities—one of the greatest fears people have is the fear of becoming like their parents.

On the other hand, they may not admit to the takeover (due to their weakness), preferring to become proud of their “good” heritage. Either way, the impress of our parents is there, whether we like it or not. Men will either marry their “mother,” or a woman who is “apparently” the exact opposite, but the influence of “mother” is an overriding one, making its mark on man born of woman.

Observe the rebellion now going on against the “establishment.” You will see in it a pathetic attempt to throw off the yoke of oppression and authority. The first authority a child knows is vested in its parent or guardian, and what this authority proceeds to do to that child is impose its “right” and ways upon him. But if you will look closer, you will see that that authority has no real identity of its own—it simply extends or projects the identity that has been imposed upon it in the same way. The child’s psyche is violated by a parent whose psyche was violated by a parent whose psyche was violated, ad infinitum. What I am saying is that identity has a philosophy and tries to make you accept its philosophy, because if you will accept the philosophy, you will accept the spirit behind the philosophy. And children simply do not know how to resist.

As I said earlier, cannibal women have cannibal babies. What our younger generation is rebelling against is this traditional imposition. And if we examine the nature of this rebellion, we see two kinds of rebels. One is searching for real identity and meaning and rebels against the philosophy itself. The other accepts the philosophy but rebels against the dominant spirit behind that philosophy. Many are confused and lost, doing the only thing they know how to do in a desperate attempt to throw off the yoke of advantage the establishment has over them by virtue of having preceded them. Unconsciously, many of them sense that their confusion might be dispelled if only they could destroy, remove, or overcome the authorities. This is a shortsighted viewpoint, of course, but the only one they can know in their confusion. Children react in an unnatural way to unnatural pressures put upon them by the unholy, unnatural, traditional ways of their parents.

If our parents were normal, and if society were normal, we could not possibly have a rebellion or any other such problem in our society at all. Rebellion needs some sort of justification, and the justification is usually found in some injustice. We rebel against authority because there is something about that authority that is just not acceptable in that it is positively destructive to our identity. Yet if we examine that authority, we see that it is vested in one who has gained that position simply by giving up the battle (his own prior rebellion) along with his self-respect. The king is dead; long live the king.

Such people are very guilty indeed for not living their own lives and for their intolerance toward the selfhood of those who will not conform. Every family is composed of rebels and conformists. On rare occasions, we find a family composed entirely of mad or bad ones—or of “good” ones; that is, all have knuckled under to the pressures of the group.

Every country perpetuates its own form of traditional insanity, producing rebels and conformists. This has led to the idea that Truth has many forms and that man makes his own brand of Truth. But what we are observing is the utter impossibility of a human being’s escaping the impress of his environment. The rebel, not knowing how to rebel, becomes an extension of the evil lurking in the authority that he is rebelling against—on him it looks different, but it’s the same evil. Hating evil never makes us good, but it surely makes us more evil.

As he grows up under the influence of his government, each person loses his identity. Some fight the parent group and break off to form new cultures complete with their own nonsense. Some prefer suicide to existence as zombies; a half million people bow out of the world by their own hand annually rather than exist another moment in the agony of their conflict between conforming and rebelling (rebelling actually being another way of conforming to evil).

What we need to realize then is that each one of us is a victim of a process, regardless of culture or ethnic background. Each victim of the process in turn is obliged, unconsciously and compulsively, to claim the newborn—he cannot tolerate the innocence of the child. He is compelled to violate it to relieve the pressures of his own anxiety.

If you can see the foregoing to be true, you must be able to accept the concept of an original source, a date lost in antiquity, a place where the original man experienced his traumatic shock and lost his identity to the source of that shock because he accepted a lie, and in accepting the lie, he accepted the spirit behind the lie. In much the same way as animals reflect their environment, so must that first man have begun to take upon himself the nature that violated him in the beginning, and this he has transmitted “faithfully” to his offspring. The history of mankind is one of madness, tyranny, and bloodshed. Claimed by tyrants of many kinds at birth, we all inherit confusion. This is so because we come into the world subject to what has preceded us in the world, and that is precisely the point. Good does not precede us. It is Error that stands there ready to claim us for the traditional ways, to keep us true to the elaborate system of lies and conditioning that assures its perpetuation on earth.

But again, please notice that the pulse beat, the life, of your obedience is assured by your emotional response. Each emotional experience becomes in itself another trauma, identical to the birth trauma, and forming another growth ring to make you more sensitive to outer stimuli. Once established, the fleshly development is slavish in its obedience to the pressures that shape it, and a constant bombardment of lies consoles and keeps you from discovering the Truth that might set you free.

The animal unfolding from the pressures of nature is dependent upon those very pressures to maintain its existing life form. In much the same way, when we develop through emotional stimuli in the way of the beast, we come to crave and be loyal to the stimuli at the roots of our being, completely subject to them; but this is so only if we can be convinced that we are on the “right track,” that there is no other way or source of life impulse possible.

Once the human organism begins to respond to stimulus, it learns to identify with that stimulus, since some of it incorporates itself into his reflexes. Man is made up of many such engramic memories.

If there were only one kind of stimulus to motivate us, we could not have a problem of guilt or deviation. Animals, for instance, know only one obedience, and the changes that are wrought in them as a result of that obedience are natural and proper. But when the same pressures are applied to humans, they appear to displace another possible arrangement.

If you are very aware, you will observe that the aftermath of excitement of any kind is guilt, or at the very least, a feeling of anxiety. This cannot be proved by any scientific means, but each one of us can observe it consciously from within himself if he cares to look. What we become physically, as the result of any pressure, recognizes that pressure as its source. That pressure (presence) becomes familiar to us, and we miss it when it is not there, exciting us, tempting us, upsetting, loving, and motivating us. Again, we may discover by observation that persons we need are never really good for us at all; but somehow they exude a familiar presence or philosophy reminiscent of the spirit of the past. In some ancient traumatic shock experience, that same “spirit” motivated our forebears and gave them its identity, displacing the original growth process in order to do so. Eventually our parents appeared and presided over us, dictating our future in the critical formative years, tempting us as they were tempted, loving us as they were “loved.” Now as we grow older and forget the true way that we never actually had a chance to “remember,” we are obliged to reach for more of that familiar spirit in other people, the only one we know that can continue to provide the kind of motivating presence we have grown accustomed to need.

When our “familiar spirits” are there in the bodies of our friends and associates, doing their “thing,” we develop in a way that is not truly right, so that when they are not present, we feel a kind of guilt or vague uneasiness about the way we are growing. And pride has no tolerance for anything that makes it feel guilty. It is pride, reaching for the services of the evil, that keeps us a bondslave to evil.

Everything that violates you makes you need it, because when you become involved, you are identifying with it engrammatically. You begin to believe that you would be “unnatural” if you didn’t respond to its call, that you would be a traitor if you dared to resist the impulse it can so irresistibly produce in you.

As I have indicated, if you were to sit in the silence of solitary confinement, without lies or emotional pressures of any kind, you would feel guilty, lonely, and afraid. And it would be Truth that you feared. The longer you are left alone, the more the entertainment of imagination fades, and you will tend to see in your nature the ugly grotesque form of the power that has laid claim to you. So you reach out for the familiar excitements in order to feel comfortable again, but each experience leaves its mark, its growth ring. Soon we need more and more stimuli to feel secure. Notice that as the excitement emanating from a person or pill or bottle fails, or when we discover what a slave we have become to it, we must either cling more tightly to it, rebel against it in some destructive way, or reach for other things with similar excitement values. And as each new thing excites us to feel secure, we become deeply enslaved to that thing. What violates, enslaves.

Of course, if we had no true identity (nature) to violate, we could not consider any of these hang-ups to be enslavements. Animals cannot be said to be “hung up” with their environment. Whatever form they assume through responding to environment is what they are and what they ought to be; they can depend on it without qualms. We humans, on the other hand, are now what we should not be. What is more, the environment that we represent to our child is very like the first temptation that transformed God’s paradise into man’s miserable earth.


I can’t remember who it was who, when asked what his feelings were concerning sex, answered: “The position is ridiculous, the pleasure only temporary, and the consequence often disastrous.”

Whoever he was, I’m certain Roy Masters heartily agrees with his observation. It‘s not so much that Mr. Masters is against sex, per se, it’s that he is for a proper relationship between man and woman. Who can deny that when sex is used, as it so often is, as a powerful manipulative device, a questionable energy source or as a distraction from one’s own wrongness, no meaningful marital relationship can exist.

Shortly before his death in 1939, Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, confessed, “Up to the present I have not yet found the courage to make any broad statements on the essence of love and I think that our knowledge is not sufficient to do so . . . we really know very little about love.”

Roy Masters, on the other hand, believes that he knows the true nature of love. More important, he knows what love is not. He makes the potent point that too many of us mistake need for love.

In this powerful volume, Masters’ message is loud and clear; man is pathetically subject to external pressures, a whimpering slave to outer direction, a pig sloshing his life away in a dung heap of emotionalism. All the while arrogantly proclaiming his mastery over body and mind, strutting pridefully in the parade to Hell.

If we are ever to arrive at the final solution to our most pressing problem, the author of Understanding Sexuality: The Mystery of Our Lost Identities tells us that we must awaken from a lifelong stupor. He wants us to open our eyes and to see that there’s an evil something that has an overwhelming appeal to our ego, a certain ghastly something that makes us feel helpless in the face of temptation; something that makes us think it is we who choose to commit adultery or become an alcoholic or a drug addict.

Make no mistake, the price of awareness is not inexpensive. It can only be paid in a currency the Soul understands: right intent. That is, a sincere longing to do the right thing in every situation, no matter how costly or ego-deflating, just because it is the right thing to do and not because it’s going to make us look or feel good.

This brings us, once again, to that little old three-letter word that has fascinated, frightened and ruled mankind with a cast-iron grip ever since Adam left the Garden. Of course, we’re referring to sex. Surely, nothing can make a weak and thoroughly wrong male feel more powerful and securely right in his wrongness than a heated sexual encounter with an accommodating partner.

How we have applauded this self-deception. Cleverly we camouflaged our weakness with yet another word that enabled us to justify our actions. Love . . . it’s what makes the world go round, we loudly boast. And round and round we went, trapped in a vicious circle and unable to break free because up till now, nobody had the courage or clarity to “blow the whistle” on this deadly farce. Make no mistake, the cat has been let out of the bag and you can blame Mr. Masters! From now on we haven’t an excuse left. He has opened the lid and the secret is out! Pity the egocentric!

And just what are Roy Masters’ credentials for such an epic undertaking? To best answer that often-asked question, I like to recall what the University of Michigan’s very famous philosopher, Abraham Kaplan, once said, “The word philosophy means love of wisdom. I suppose it’s like any other sort of love—the professionals are the ones who know the least about it.”

The author of Understanding Sexuality: The Mystery of Our Lost Identities has no college degrees to adorn his walls. He has not spent long years in school classrooms listening to the contradictory theories of the so-called experts. In short, Roy Masters is not a professional problem-solver; his insights and understanding, he says, are intuitive and come to him through the Grace of God.

When I started writing my last book, Healers, Gurus & Spiritual Guides, I had planned on devoting just one chapter to Roy Masters. But once I began researching my subject in depth, what started out as a single chapter grew and grew. As it turned out, almost half that particular book is devoted either directly or indirectly to him. His influence is considerable.

Roy is a complicated individual of great simplicity and humility. He’s an energetic mystic of uncommon sensibility and common sense. Color him prophet, philosopher, metaphysical revolutionary, or voice in the wilderness; he’s all that and more. Above all, he’s a man hard to ignore.

To the untrained eye and ear, to the uninitiated, this bushy-haired transplanted Englishman, who has an uncanny facial resemblance to the hip-swinging singing star Tom Jones, is just another cultist with a Messiah-complex. Not so to the hundreds of thousands who read his books, listen to him on radio and TV, or flock to his lectures. They appreciate him for being a channel through which the wisdom of the ages is once again being made available. To many, he’s the one man willing and able to tell it like it really is! And that’s what this book is really all about.

—William Wolff

Editor's Preface

This book was first published in 1970, under the title “Sex, Sin & Solution,” and it was actually written a year or two before that. When it was republished in 1977, Mr. Masters added the material now contained in the last two chapters and changed the title to “Sex, Sin & Salvation,” which was actually the title he preferred in the first place, but elected not to use lest the word “Salvation” discourage people from buying the book on the basis of its “religiosity.”

When I heard that the Foundation of Human Understanding was getting ready to republish the book, I asked Roy Masters if I might read it and help in the selection of a new title. Although I was the book’s original editor, insofar as its main content is concerned, I had offered no suggestions for chapter titles or subtitles, and I was somewhat disappointed in those that appeared in the first editions. While I could see how they got there, I felt that they really detracted from the seriousness of Roy Masters’ message.

Nevertheless, I’m sure that no real seeker of Truth was put off by the editorial word play in the previous editions. We lovers of Truth are drawn to Roy Masters and the Foundation of Human Understanding from all walks of life and all parts of the country, and we all have our own ideas on how best to help Roy with the task of “selling” the message. We keep trying, in our various ways, to lure the uncommitted, the “fringe folk” over to our side, but deep down in our hearts, we know that those who love the Truth will get the message, and those who don’t, won’t, no matter what we do.

Except for the new title, new chapter headings, and the deletion of subtitles, this is essentially the same book you might already have read under one of the former titles. But whether you are a new reader or a re-reader, you will no doubt get the impression, as I did this time, that Roy Masters was addressing a world that no longer exists today. No doubt some of the worldly ones were planting the seeds that have come to full flower in AIDS and every conceivable kind of addiction, and thinking the thoughts that have led to unisex, the breakup of the home, and the bashing of moral values that we once held dear. But at that time it would have been unthinkable to hear certain practices referred to openly as “sexual preferences,” as we do now on almost every news program. How could we have fallen so far so fast?
Under the circumstances, we made no attempt to bring the book up to date. To do so would have necessitated a completely new approach, a rewriting rather than a reediting. In any event, Roy Masters is addressing today’s audience and today’s problems every single day, both in his writings and in his daily radio and television call-in programs.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears Wash out a Word of it.”
—The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Stanza 71

Truth is Truth, in whatever context we find it, and those who love it will surely find a way to it. I don’t think I found Roy Masters by accident, and I don’t think you have this book in your hands by accident, either. Do read on, and rejoice.