Is Enlightenment a Cave Without Money, Food and Sex?
Money (and, in general, the commitment of life-force in the forms of effort and love), food and sex are the essential activities of life. Those are the vital processes, the forms of vital appearance and function. And money, food and sex are the first things that people begin to resist or manipulate when they get involved in anything that is even remotely like religion or spirituality.
Religious people, for the most part, are extremely confused and guilty about money, food and sex. People involved in spirituality, yoga, and esoteric religion, are endlessly involved with experiments about money, food and sex. What are such people always doing?
“Should I or shouldn’t I?”
“What is the right diet?” “Fasting? Macrobiotics? No food?”
They are on and off the food all the time, on and off sex. They may be celibate for years in order to get enlightened, but then, just as dramatically, they are seeking the “tantric bliss” or the restoration of “mental health” in a perpetual orgasmic exercise.
Then there are all of the other games of self-denial, no work, no income. All of these things arise whenever anything like spirituality or religion comes into a person’s life.
Because of the automatic resistance’s built into religious and spiritual endeavor, the practical need for money and for the means of survival is a very complicated and frustrating affair for even the most sophisticated religious and spiritual groups.But all of this should be a very obvious matter.
We are not in heaven. This is the earth.
Everything here costs life, effort and money. It costs a great deal of life, effort and money to maintain a religious or spiritual community. The purposes may be “spiritual,” but as a living community it must fulfill the same functional laws as any household and any business corporation.
Even so, whenever practical demands are made for effort, commitment, love, or money, people tend to lapse into the “tamasic mood.” Such reluctance retards life. And the ability of an individual or a group to transcend this tendency is the measure of freedom and survival.
There is the suspicion that if you are “spiritual” you are not supposed to need money, you are not supposed to require anything, and you are supposed to abandon the functions of life. Obviously though, money is needed in most circumstances, and work, force, love, and energy are necessary for functional survival.
Why isn’t it obvious then, why isn’t it patently the responsibility of individuals that they bring life and commitment to their own religious or spiritual community, that they take on its creative work, and contribute a responsible amount of money for its continuation? Why isn’t that obvious?
Why is there always so much wheeling and dealing involved with any religious and spiritual organization?
It is because of the traditional illusion of spiritual attainment, which is pictured as a kind of evaporation process, wherein you become more and more “elusive,” and finally disappear inside your something, or dissolve into your someplace else.
Now there are people who teach that such goals are Truth. If that is the game you want to play, you must go to such people. There are few and always fewer responsibilities at the level of life involved in such teachings. A certain amount of food must be taken, but some teachers have even suggested that if you begin a fast and never eat again, at death you will merge into the enlightened state. So they have handled that side of it too. Such “enlightenment” is a cave without money, food or sex. If that seems to represent the Truth to you, then go to the forest and fast until death!
I think this traditional orientation is utter nonsense.
I do not teach it, and I do not support it.
The Truth that already is the case is the Truth from this one’s point of view. I live very naturally in the human world, and its responsibilities do not make me “unspiritual.” Its responsibilities are a creative manifestation, requiring intelligence. All life-conditions are forms of relationship. All of life is ordinary. A man who is incapable of his ordinariness hasn’t even begun to become involved in spiritual life as subtlety.
–Adi Da Samraj, from The Method of the Siddhas