Caves, Robes, Sex and Cigarettes?
The true test and proof of a human being is not whether or not he or she can attain mystical experiences, or “out-of-body” experiences, or even sophisticated scientific knowledge and power over the world. The true test is whether or not any individual human being will exist as love and persist as love, transcending himself or herself in the midst of all experience and all knowledge, even when all experience and all knowledge press upon the individual to be less than love.
You may fantasize that Spiritual life is about living in caves, wearing your robes, and renouncing everything. Such a notion is just a dream. It is nonsense. True renunciation is here, in the body, suffering it, becoming Illumined by submitting to be a human being. The practice of such true renunciation is the agony of selfknowledge and knowledge of another.
That practice uses you up, burns you out, and kills you eventually. But it is better to die from that than from bacteria or old age or a rotting liver or something to do with your intestines. Die from the heart-stress. Die from love. That is what I am Doing. And anybody who follows or fulfills the Way of the Heart must do the same.
You literally depend on other beings for your continuing existence in this form – not your ultimate existence, or even your mere vital existence (except that you do depend on the sexual play of others for your birth), but your human existence. You cannot exist as a human being for one more moment without participation in the life that other beings give to you, and that the whole grand affair of the manifested world gives to you.
When you realize your dependence on the conscious communication of life from others, then you see the reasonableness – or, rather, the unreasonableness-of love. Then, in spite of what the other person seems to be, you bring your life to him or her in the form of real energy, real intensity, real attention. The person is enlivened, then, literally. The person is fed.
The food that you take through the mouth is gross and secondary. The food that you take through the nose is gross and secondary. These are also necessary forms of food, generally, but they support a lower organic form of existence. Many people eat well enough and breathe well enough, but they are depressed and insane because they do not communicate through the eyes and through the heart. They do not enjoy the life-process in its subtle form. To be present with life to other beings, and to expect their presence to you, is merely intelligent, not moralistic, not even a matter of Yoga. You are present to other beings in the form of a righteous demand for life. You should absolutely demand life from other people. And you should finally discover what it is you are demanding of them. It is life, intensity, love, conscious energy. You absolutely need it to survive.
Therefore, you should cut through all the garbage that you tend to give other people and absolutely demand that exchange of love. Settle for nothing less, and settle for nothing less in yourself. And submit to that righteous demand from others. To bring your own presence as life to other beings and to demand it from them is simply an appropriate discipline, just as it is appropriate to take meals every day.
But you tend to settle for less than life. A smile, a bit of sex, or a cigarette is sufficient. You do not really require life from others, yet that is what you need. You cannot survive in your truly human functions without it. If all of you here were busy truly loving one another, truly being present to one another without complication, without making any assumptions about one another or yourself, you could live for a long time. Even if you lived for only 20 years, you would be happy, at least on the ordinary human levels. You would be feeding one another, and you could die happy-if some day you happen to have to die-because everybody would be with you. Everybody would be holding your hand and shooting you full of conscious life. You would be loved, free, not prevented from Truth. And who cares about death then?
–Avatar Adi Da Samraj, October 1993