The available history tells us that most of the spiritual masters were never concerned much about wealth. At their times, the competition for resources was less and people were not bothered much about their livelihoods. But nowadays, there is a race for grabbing resources and one has to earn for himself and his family with due consideration of unexpected events. My question is – Will accumulation of wealth or desire for more savings for any purpose become an obstacle in our spiritual progress? How to deal with it?
Thank you for your interesting question.
Our perception of wealth has changed in time. That spiritual master perhaps wasn’t concerned about having kids and paying bills, thus he did not need much to live by himself.
“History” has recorded male “spiritual masters” only. Very little is known about female counterparts, and that is because of the mindset at that time.
Therefore, it is safe to go with was is “now”.
Someone who is busy, who has a busy schedule of things to “do”, is not ripe yet for self-realization. Granted, that person may have a great intellect, he may have convincing ways, a great ability to speak/write spiritual things, etc. but unless you have plenty of time to be alone, by yourself and I mean PLENTY; your time hasn’t arrived yet.
By hearing this many may decide to quit their jobs and live in a cave someplace by themselves. That is very silly. That is the way many religious followers have interpreted to be the “right” path to enlightenment. To DO this is artificial.
Life and not a religion, a belief or a desire will put you there when you ARE ready.
Our minds have been conditioned to be greedy. Competition is out there as a way of Life. That is the air around the “office world.” Thus, greed increases and the desire to accumulate for tomorrow is always there. The same ideal is extrapolated in “spirituality”. Be greedy about Paradise. Your wealth in this world is not eternal. Make sure that you accumulate eternal things. Donate your wealth now to build a temple or a church so you accumulate points with God in the afterlife. People will call that as “helping others”, they may even label you as a saint; but truly is about your greed in obtaining Paradise.
There is nothing wrong if someone has wealth or if your job or any legal activity will bring you wealth. The problem is the mind. The constant desire to accumulate, (greed) that is the issue. The mind is set in the future. You “need” a boat, a mansion, 7 cars for each day of the week, 7 kids, 5 pets and 2 wives.
You’ve got those? Good! Now maintain them. Make sure the wealth flow is there, for someone can take it away from you, and your acquisitions will be gone. You will be “nothing” without them. Thus, ego will fiercely protect those assets.
That person is not ready for self-realization. He is too busy with things to take care of. Although he may read spiritual “bestseller” books and listen to Guru’s classes. He may have quitted his addiction to tobacco thanks to the local priest, thus he has “improved” his spirituality, in his view.
“Spiritual progress” has nothing to do with DOING or HAVING. It is about BEING.
That BEING is openness through inner acceptance of the different scenes that Life will show us. You can DO what you want to DO in Life. You can HAVE everything you can imagine in Life. What you ARE will change through those experiences.
Embrace the ideal of being “good” and you are doomed to be “bad”.
Embrace the ideal of rejecting greed and you will never know generosity.
Accept that you are greed through your own observation and you will have the opportunity to go beyond it. Not by denying that you shouldn’t accumulate things or that you shouldn’t DO certain actions, but by BEING AWARE that your mind is running the show in your Life through an ideal, through conditioning; that is how freedom from the duality of greed/generosity will appear and what you ARE will no longer be driven by moral standards of what to DO, but you will notice that you ARE already what your mind is pushing you to DO artificially through fear and conditioning. You ARE “spiritual” already. Just allow the layers of conditioning to go by being aware of them.
Spiritual “improvement” is not driven by externalities. It is not driven by embracing/rejecting dualistic concepts such as greed/ generosity. It is driven by AWARENESS and CAPACITY to go beyond the “reality” of duality through complete acceptance of it.
This is to be “REAL” in the “now” and not to be caught up with ideals, beliefs, concepts and conditioned morality.
The above is known as Tantra. Thus, it will be misinterpreted. Some may say:” Tantra says that if you are greedy, that is OK… if you are bad, that is fine. Embrace it.” They forget the AWARENESS deal. They have not experienced what is AWARENESS; for if they had; none of the dualities could be an issue, a “problem” for them. They wouldn’t be asking questions such as: How do I conquer greed? How do I become generous? and all of that… but if they do ask those questions, then tell them: Greed is bad. Generosity is good. “Practice” Generosity. Have a distaste for greed. That… they can understand, although those words are completely senseless once we know that we cannot embrace one side of a coin and get rid of the other, without destroying the coin. 🙂
In the last article, it was said: “We are donkeys pursuing carrots hanging in sticks.”
Some felt indignation for that comparison.
A donkey is a pretty impressive animal. It has helped humans throughout history in most tedious physical tasks. Stubbornness is one of its main characteristic, that is why; it will not give up in pursuing a carrot which will always be out of its reach.
If I would have said: We are like tigers, lions, eagles, dragons… that could have received lots of thumbs up. That sounds good! Every conditioned human being wants to use those animals as “totems.”
What is the common ground of all those animals?
From the outside aggression. A violent response. That is exactly how most human beings would qualify as: Violent animals.
Our society thrives in violence. Fear is part of that experience. No wonder our DOING will be impregnated with violence.
Religion was a response to that aggression. If we cannot BE kind, gentle with each other, let us at least behave; DO as a commandment says.
At the internal level, a “good” action has the color of violence in a violent individual, for BEING gives the vibe to DOING.
Want an example?
Pleasurable activities such as sex, is mostly driven by violence at this time. Sex becomes the fascinating mix of pain, violence and pleasure. We call that “normal” even label that as “making love” but be aware that the origin is our conditioning to be violent, thus; it is “normal” behavior under that conditioning.
When someone is experiencing the process of “self-realization,” there is a time to experience a deep catharsis. It is in that period when all so called “normal” but violent traits, behaviors and desires will come out in the open to dilute themselves. Those traits may have been repressed as to look and behave “good” in society, but the façade needs to go away.
At that point it may finally be discovered why, an activity meant to bring exquisite joy and vitality such as sex; becomes a “problem” for “normal” people.
Conditioning, emotional traumas, religious beliefs, and fear to express sensuality and pleasure have distorted our ability to feel, through the experience of many life times of repression.
Add to it, the unbalanced use of the mind which brings the inability of the modern man to feel pleasure while being fully present, in the “now.” The mind is in the past or the future, and that is where it will be despite the experience of pleasure and joy.
This creates great unfulfillment.
Tantra starts by diluting those accumulated traumas and fears. This will open the correct functioning of the sexual organs/ system. Opening the heart to feel, becomes very important for sex, so it acquires a whole different dimension: It is no longer just a “normal” release to satisfy the cravings of the conditioned mind, but a way to experience great relaxation, vitality and joy. That is fulfillment. This in turn, will bring a healthy, vital and centered human being, able to integrate all energies given in Life. This is what truly is a “spiritual” being.
Any “teachings” of Tantra to human beings who have not gone through the process of catharsis, will be only another method to enhance sexual pleasure, and that is the extent of it.
Yes, for many humans that is all they want out of Tantra; but what they DO is not truly Tantra; for there is no DOING of it, no method, no technique. It happens naturally.
Someone can teach a method of a breathing technique to improve our sex life. We will need to practice it and remind ourselves to DO it. It is not natural for us, although we may be told that after a while it will become natural. As mentioned many times before, DOING does not change BEING. We could remember during sex to “practice,” allowing the mind to take away the experience of the “now;” but we cannot remember to DO this breathing throughout the different events of the day.
A relaxed, open, harmonious breathing becomes natural as our state of consciousness leaves aside emotional traumas, conditioned teachings, stresses and a life of empty busy-ness.
Naturally that BEING will discover Tantra in its full extent when AWARE. For the rest, is only about “having great sex” (the icing of the cake) by taking expensive classes, reading books and lots of practice to remember the method to control ourselves, to press here and there in the body to avoid having a premature ejaculation, etc.
To each its own.
The Buddha Gautama became naturally celibate. He did not “make effort” to be celibate. It happened naturally as a process in his life.
Imitators believe that to be “spiritual” they need to be celibate just like the Buddha was. Imitators will “practice” celibacy even though it is not natural for them. They will “make effort.” They will write a commandment: “You must be celibate to be enlightened. ” This repression made into a “practice,” becomes their source of ego.
That sort of misunderstanding of the unique process of a self-realized being is made into a commandment for the masses to follow.
That ideal is truly a form a violence.
Sacred sexuality is in fashion. Sacredness starts with a person. As he is sacred through self-realization, everything he does becomes sacred. A violent individual cannot DO sacred sexuality no matter how many classes he takes about Tantra.
Life is a dream.
to wake up is enlightenment,
in the middle of the night.
Mundane is to shop at Walmart in the middle of the night,
Divine is to go outside and taste the brightness of the starts!
Mundane is needed to survive,
Divine, to breathe and be alive
Mundane is to watch TV just to relax
Divine is to wonder at the birds flying in the sky;
There is no fear of the deepest heights
for that is teaching my wings on how to fly
Being drunk in the middle of the night
extends a dream when is time to wake up,
a divine call will not let you sleep
as a mundane bill won’t let you breathe
Deep depth comes from your heart
Rest assured, that is Divine,
Mundane is superficial shallowness
coming from your own mind.
Your possessions aren’t yours
That is Divine,
As the Aurora of Dawn
brings that beauty
which is not mine.