Living in a cave doesn’t make you a saint

I’m quite certain there will be misunderstandings regarding my last article, so I’ll explain things a bit.

I originally started this explanation by stating how you need to focus on God and not on what you need to do in the world, because if you have a connection with God, the world will not be able to overwhelm you. However, I decided it’s too abstract a concept for most people, and this needs to be explained somewhat differently, because for those people who didn’t experience either darshan or samadhi, God is a vague and abstract concept, something that can hardly outweigh the very real evils of this world.

On the other hand, I occasionally write about computers and show the equipment I’m using exactly in order for people not to think that I recommend living in a cave and eating nettle brew like Jetsun Milarepa.

So, what do I mean when I talk about withdrawing investments of your energy from the world? It means you don’t expect the world to do anything. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be evil, and it’s not your duty to make it different. You were put here for unknown reasons, and what you have to do is be yourself, remember God and don’t get lost. You don’t project your hopes into some future better life. You don’t fear future evils. What you need to do is live in such a way, that it doesn’t interfere with your efforts to remember God and not get lost.

Now, if you ever had a vision of God, and tried to maintain it in your consciousness, you will know that it’s incredibly difficult. Every evil or ignorant action will extinguish it immediately. Every unfocused action, every automatic reaction to a blow that came from the world, and it’s gone, you can’t remember God anymore. You address someone automatically, in a way inconsistent with God’s presence, and you lose God. Essentially, in order to just maintain that one singular condition that I mentioned, you need to become a saint, a living presence of God in the world, or you will fail.

The next thing to have in mind is that the result of this exercise will not be the same for all people. Dressing yourself up to be acceptable to God, and modifying your behavior to be the vehicle for your meditation on God will be vastly different for different people. As a result, some will attempt to be liked and approved of by God. Some will attempt to think God’s thoughts. Some will feel and manifest God’s will. Complete withdrawal from the world, or complete hostility towards the world, or an attempt to act in such a way as to remind other beings of God and show them the way out by personal example, by being outside while inside, those can all be the results of this kind of meditation. The saints are not rubber-stamped from the same template, they are original solutions to the common problem, based on the same general approach: be of God while in the world, and have your eternal destiny in God, not the world. And yes, it can look as if you’re trying to enrich the world or make it better or what not, but that’s merely a corollary, and you’re not investing your energy in the world, you’re corroding the evil nature of the world by remembering God’s light and beauty amidst this ugliness and horror. God’s presence doesn’t enrich hell, it negates it. Negate ugliness with beauty, negate impotence with power, negate poverty with wealth, negate ignorance with knowledge, negate cruelty with kindness, negate injustice with justice, negate lies with truth. This can appear similar to Jordan Peterson’s concept of making it worthwhile, but it’s the focus on God, on the transcendental reality, that makes the difference. You’re not trying to make world a better place, you’re trying to live in a way that reminds you of God, and thus create a small island of heaven amidst hell. You don’t use your own strength, your own energy: you invite God into your life and surround yourself with His holy presence. You hold on to His light, and never let go. You do things in the world that need to be done, all the while trying to maintain His holy presence in your awareness, thoughts and actions, because it’s what you do in the little things that determines your destiny. Awareness of God is how you wash the car, pet the cat, shop for groceries, apply thermal paste to the CPU, write code, wash the dishes, cook, have sex, walk, run and sleep. Renunciation is not a mere absence of things, where you live in a cave and eat nettles, it’s the way you do things – you don’t abandon God so that you could pet the cat, you abandon the world and see God through the cat, surround the cat with God. Essentially, if you renounce the worldly nature of things, you can do anything in God. There isn’t that much difference between a house and a cave, and nettles and a steak; both show your physical inability to live without food and shelter, and you need to work hard just to remain alive, in both cases, and if you can be godless in a house, believe me, you would be as godless in a cave. Poverty and physical renunciation don’t impart holiness on their own, nor do riches negate holiness on their own. It’s meditation on God, or forgetfulness of God, that either create or negate holiness. This world is not passive – it will actively fuck with you, and you need to actively resist it by focusing on God, who is your desired destiny and salvation. Meditation doesn’t just happen, it’s a war against the forces of darkness, where by invoking the names and attributes of the Lord of Light you punch a hole in this damn place, and establish a foothold of God’s presence on the territory of Satan. And it’s not your energy and effort that makes it possible, and the effort doesn’t exhaust you or bind you – it’s only a choice that is yours, a choice to allow God into your life, one small piece at a time.

And unlike the investments of energy and effort into the world, the results of this path remain forever.