Piggot’s refutation of Mr. Screw-Everything-You-Can-While-You-Can-To-Prove-You-Are-a-Man is thoroughly solid in its brevity and requires no additional help from me.
If anything, Piggott’s post served to remind me of just how utterly pernicious the sin of lust, particularly the sin of unrepented — nay, more than that, celebrated, endorsed, promoted, lauded — lust can be.
In his piece, Piggott confesses that lust has been and is his own bugbear. I must add that lust has been and is my own bugbear, to the point that working through it required the writing of a novel.
Piggott’s juxtaposition of spiritual survival and sexual marketplace in the post title lucidly strikes at the core of the matter. In its essence, lust is a spiritual challenge. People who allow themselves to be consumed by lust inevitably pay for it with spirit. This applies to everyone; even those who fundamentally reject the reality of spirit and sin.
The manosphere blogger whom Piggott renounces squarely resides in the camp that rejects the reality of spirit. Individuals in this camp not only refuse to recognize lust as a sin, but they also go to great lengths to extol the virtues of lust and doll up their justifications with all sorts of evolutionary assumptions that culminate in terms like sexual marketplace.
Sexual marketplace. Pause to contemplate the term for a moment and then ask yourself how a person who uses such terminology and lives his life according to it regards himself and his fellow human beings.
I’ll share my thoughts via a short excerpt taken from the "bugbear" novel I mentioned above:
Béla scowled. “If pleasure is all we have left then what’s the point of it all?”
“That’s precisely it! There is no point to it all!” Verge stepped out from behind the table and pointed his finger at Béla in an accusatory fashion. “Pleasure is all we have because pleasure is all we deserve. Pleasure is meaning. Death is a lack of meaning. There is nothing else in between.”
“If pleasure is the only meaning, then we are not fully human.”
“Exactly! For centuries we wholeheartedly believed we were part of divine creation. We based our entire existence around the core of this belief. Well, I have news for you, dear chap – that belief is no longer valid. It has been stolen from us by the same people who fight for social justice and struggle against the tyranny of oppression. It is they who have reduced us to the level of animals. We are objects – commodities to be bought and sold. The quicker you accept that imposed truth, the happier you’ll be!”
Béla was aghast. He stared at his friend in disbelief. “These women we film and photograph are more than just objects.”
“Are they? Do you remember the names of the girls we were with last night?”
The only answer Béla could provide was a blank stare.
“Precisely!” Verge snickered. “And you have the audacity to lecture me about objectification!”
“You can’t believe the women who work for us are just objects.”
“I do,” Verge said firmly. “I must.”
“I don’t hate, my good man, but I don’t delude myself with love either. When it comes to people, I merely tolerate or enjoy.”
The two characters in the scene above represent two disparate positions regarding lust. On the one hand, the protagonist Béla is slowly becoming aware of the vast spiritual implications of his lust-fuelled life and is inching his way toward repentance.
On the other hand, you have Anthony Vergil, who has jettisoned the reality of spirit in favor of "the imposed truth" of material and carnal pleasures and now regards himself and everyone else as mere objects, commodities to be bought and sold.
Here's the thing. Everyone has or will succumb to the sin of lust at some point in life, particularly when young. Like all sin, lust plays a major role in spiritual learning. With that in mind, succumbing to the sin of lust is not the core issue—non-repentance is.
Some people may struggle against lust their entire lives — and lose!
Nonetheless, the spiritual survival in Piggott's title resides in repentance. Repentance is the antidote to dishonesty and denial. It is the spiritual declaration that you see the thing for what it is, even if/when you struggle to avoid it.
Non-repentance or, worse, celebratory endorsement of lust as a high virtue signifies the beginning of spiritual atrophy and death — a proclamation that you willingly and actively choose a life of self-distraction, self-delusion, objectification, hedonism, etc.
All sins come at the expense of spirit, and very few have captured the expense of spirit lust demands as well as Shakespeare did in Sonnet 129:
Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoyed no sooner but despisèd straight,
Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
Lust not only consumes; it also possesses.
People who willingly and actively endorse the “heaven” that lust promises as desirable, noble, and virtuous are not only consumed, they are possessed.
Lust extracts a spiritual price. Only repentance can recompense the expense.