Renunciation is used as a “tool” from many belief systems. That tool is supposed to allow the aspirant to gain a “higher state of consciousness.”
In the world of duality, to renounce what is considered to be “mundane” and “pleasurable” has been translated as “evolved,” “high,” “divine.”
It is just a game of words.
I remember a book which introduced the concept of renunciation in my younger perception: “The autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda.
That book describes many of the unique experiences that Yogananda had. Those experiences were interpreted according to Yogananda’s beliefs at the time.
In that context to become a “renunciate” is the highest path. From that “concept” many have copied it.
For Yogananda, to practice his path of what he understood as renunciation was natural. It is what he was meant to do.
Therefore, there was no renunciation in his life.
Many”seekers” started following that idea of “renunciation.” They needed a “guru” to follow and some especial practices to become “better.” Thus for these people to “renounce” became a source a repression, for this path was not natural to them. They had to “make effort.”
Ananda would like to share one of his most cherished realizations in life.
There is no established path or religion or philosophy or teaching which when followed by itself, to the dot, 100% is able to return a higher state of consciousness.
Consciousness does not change by following a certain method or by doing a “holy” practice.
Consciousness changes all by itself when we are ready according to our assimilation of the experiences offered in life. In short, greater openness to life, means greater awareness thus, less ego.
Renunciation is duality. To select something as “divine” and another thing as “mundane” is duality, and because there is duality; there cannot be integration with the Totality.
It is that separation between what is “godly” and what is not which brings a person into a state of self-righteousness, which is an illusion.
There is no such a thing as the “true” way when we are dealing with perceptions of what we call “reality.”
We could name anything as “reality” but that is not, for all we could observe is a perception.
Do we want for God or a guru to tell us about the “highest reality” there is, which we are not able to experience?
That is a belief, for “what is” cannot be put into words.
The highest, the lowest, the pure, the impure, the rich the poor… are all dualities which are static “realities” in a mind which is incapable of seeing change and continuous transformation of everything.
“Reality” is not a picture but a movie.
We can describe with words a still picture with details, but not a changing movie.
Because everything changes continuously there is no “arrival” or destination.
Therefore, to renounce life as it presents itself, just so we can accommodate ourselves to our belief or dogma, is to deny ourselves to transform, to change, to evolve.
What is that change that we deny to ourselves?
To live Life.
To renounce part of life to the pursue of a “higher” destination is senseless, when we realize that there is never a static point, a destination.
To renounce part of life due to a belief that we will attain something better in the future is to ignore completely that rejection is hidden in renunciation.
When there is rejection there cannot be oneness.
Without oneness, there is no love.
Without love, there is no joy.