“Here they teach that much of existence amounts only to misery; that misery is caused by
desire; therefore, if desire is eliminated, then misery will be eliminated. Now, that is true
enough, as far as it goes. There is plenty of misery in the world, all right, but there is
ample pleasure, as well. If a person forswears pleasure in order to avoid misery, what has
he gained? A life with neither misery nor pleasure is an empty, neutral existence, and,
indeed, it is the nothingness of the void that is the lamas’ final objective. To actively seek
nothingness is worse than defeat; why, Kudra, it is surrender; craven, chickenhearted,
dishonorable surrender. Poor little babies are so afraid of pain that they spurn the myriad
sweet wonders of life so that they might protect themselves from hurt. How can you
respect that sort of weakness, how can you admire a human who consciously embraces
the bland, the mediocre, and the safe rather than risk the suffering that disappointments
From the book: “Jitterbug Perfume,” by Tom Robbins, page 75.
In my “Yoga book club,” we are reading that book.
Interesting book indeed.
Those words come from the main character of the book, “Alobar;” while speaking to his Indian partner, “Kudra.”
Below some of the “reasons” to be “spiritual” along those lines of “thinking.”
– Don’t want pain/suffering, then avoid pleasure.
– Pleasure takes you away from God. Pleasure takes you away from more important things in Life like going to heaven, becoming perfect, becoming an example for humanity.
– If you select pleasure, then suffering is unavoidable for duality is set in motion. Therefore, avoid pleasure, become stern, strict, stoic, a renunciate…and direct your energy to become an angel, to get to Nirvana, to get to the void, nothingness or Paradise, etc. Whatever it is, it is much “better” than this… 🙂
The above is a “teaching” without the understanding of Life. It is a mental ideal of “perfection,” of “becoming better.”
The above “teaching” is a misunderstood “teaching” practiced by a follower of a religion or philosophy.
A follower idealizes a “teaching,” based on his own beliefs of what is “good or bad.”
To have a goal, something to achieve, something to accomplish, is expected and taught in “spirituality.” That same “reasoning” learned in a human system (the office mentality) is moved into living Life and into “spirituality.”
In Life there is nothing which needs to be accomplished unless we believe so.
The void, the nothingness of the Lamas is not something to achieve…. if we try to achieve it, it is false, it is artificial, it is just an ideal, a belief.
What are we going to achieve? Obviously, our idea of illumination, void, nothingness, God, etc.
How are we going to achieve it? We believe, by following a method taught by someone.
The “reason” is that by following some method, we could achieve what “an illuminated” has “achieved.”
That is dishonesty behind our logical statements and reasoning. Once we “walk our talk” then we will know better. Not before. Before it is just about ideas, beliefs, inner lies, dishonesty.
A state of consciousness arrives as a consequence of the assimilation of previous experiences. There is no particular experience which is the “One” changing our state of consciousness but there is an experience that will be the catalyst, the trigger for the on-going manifestation. A song is not just the last note being played by a pianist but a succession of different notes. The last note only indicates the end of the song.
The Buddha experienced a “different” consciousness. His disciples including the Lamas, understood that state of consciousness as something desirable to achieve by giving up Life in the pursuit of a goal. The magic label is “renunciation.”
Whenever I share “consciousness changes all by itself,” that typically creates some deep frowning in some.
– “No… Meditation changes consciousness.”
Which meditation? Your style of meditation?
Can you decide the experiences that you will have in meditation or they just happen?
– “No. I cannot decide. Today I may have a great experience. Tomorrow I may not.”
How can you say that meditation changes consciousness then, if “you” do not have control over it? How can a method be created then for “everyone” to follow?
Why so many forms of meditation and so many different results?
– “Ahh.. it depends on the quality and quantity of your meditation…”
Which “you” have no control of…
“Poor little babies” as Alobar mentioned. It is not a matter of cherry picking experiences according to our beliefs. It is a matter of embracing, of being part of “what is.”
Life brings experiences. All experiences have a reason to be. The idea of forgetting about this world in pursuit of something else in the future, whether that is Paradise, Nirvana, Eternal Life or whatever glorified label may be, will not allow us to be truly honest.
Because we cannot live the “now,” we cannot be 100% in the “now” if the “future” is most important. Something to muse about.
What about goals? Aren’t those in the future?
Some may have as a goal in Life to be rich. Some others to be powerful. Yet, others to become an angel, to be one with God…
To be honest with myself at every moment. At every “now,” while enjoying and appreciating the moment…