“The brute (animal) by nature knows no selfrestraint. Man is man because he is capable of, and only in so far as he exercises, self-restraint.” (Mahatma Gandhi).
This is what Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his Autobiography: “Do not think that brahmacharya (celibate/purity) is impossible because it is difficult. Purity is the highest ideal, so it should not be surprising that to achieve it the greatest effort is required. Life without brahmacharya appears to me to be insipid and animal-like. The brute by nature knows no self-restraint. Man is man because he is capable of self-restraint.”
It is sometimes said that man has to act sexually. You cannot expect, for example, young people not to engage in sex in some way. One way or another. Masturbation — it is said — is a natural thing in adolescence, and even beneficial. It passes with time, at the latest when you start “normal sexual life”.
The above opinions are an updated version of the so called theory of a glass of water. If someone is thirsty, they should, of course, quench their thirst. And it does not matter how they go about it; where they get the drink and what type they choose. The point is to satisfy thirst. This theory was invented and propagated by the Soviet communists in relation to sexual life in the 1920s of the last century. It means to satisfy sexual drive like an animal. It doesn’t matter how, when, where and with whom. The proponents of this theory did as they proclaimed. Nowadays the same theories are proclaimed by liberals and feminists, often with academic titles and in high positions, and are therefore considered “authorities”. They say they are “modern and progressive.” Their precursors boasted in the same way in their own times.
Freedom or enslavement?
In The Catechism of the Catholic Church we read: “Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery […] The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy” (CCC 2339). And elsewhere: “Selfmastery is a long and exacting work. […] It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life. The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.” (CCC 2342). In other words, a young person either undertakes a long struggle for purity, learns it and gains peace, or resigns from the fight in exchange for short moments of pleasure, and as a result, becomes enslaved and unhappy.
Most of the acts of masturbation are caused by pornography. For the mentality of a boy in puberty, contact with a pornographic movie on the Internet, for example, is roughly similar to a collision of a speeding car with a roadside tree.