How to measure spiritual advancement

The reason why I’ve been thinking about the Kardashev scale was actually its applicability to spiritual evolution of the individual, but explaining the entire process of my thinking might be long and involved.

Let’s just start with the statement that religions, in general, talk about a being that is level 6 on the extended Kardashev scale – having total power over the “multiverse”, essentially being able to define and spawn new universe-types and universes of a given type, at will. Basically, if we assume that a civilization or a being can conceivably reach that level of power, who is to say that it hadn’t happened already, and religion is, basically, a way to conceptualize such a thing from the perspective of bronze age peoples? From my perspective, this way of looking at things is fundamentally flawed, because it implies existence of some “real” universe where all this evolution essentially happens ex nihilo, eventually producing a God, which is not at all how I perceive those things, but it’s useful as a way of getting a certain materialistically conditioned type of a person out of their conceited stupor. As I see those things, God is not at some place; God is the super-mind, super-reality from which all lower realities derive substance. If you want, God is the hardware, and universes are software.

But let’s ignore God for a moment and think about an individual soul and its spiritual evolution. In order to define progress, we need some sort of a frame of reference, a coordinate system that would define things such as “better” and “worse”, or more and less evolved. Vedanta gives one answer – the world is a virtual reality system, “maya”. Brahman is the hardware, the actual reality. Atman, or individual soul, is how brahman is perceived when seen through the limiting filter of a body. In realization that atman, the “self” of a being, is actually The Self, the sole “I” of brahman, that gives reality to all things by virtue of being the true, absolute reality from which all lesser realities are derived, one attains the state of liberation in the knowledge that I Am.

Buddhism has a similar answer. This world is a complex trap that is powered by our investment of energy into the various mirages it keeps spawning; something like an electromagnet that keeps our cage locked, and we provide the electromagnet with power by incessantly pedaling the dynamo that powers it. Buddha’s answer is to stop powering it, suffer all the blows passively as to expend the momenta of past actions and investments of energy, wait for the energetic whirlpools to power down, and simply levitate away into the freedom of nirvana, where all the illusions we’ve been powering with our desires, fears and actions have been depleted of energy, ceased to exist and exposed the blissful nature of nirvana beneath all that mess. Buddha refused to speak about the nature of that state, finding it self-defeating: you can’t even imagine it in your present state, and it’s best not to try, because any way you try to imagine it will just add a layer of illusion to a mind that already has too many. You need to remove stuff, not add more. When the actual thing reveals itself, only then will you be able to experience it.

As theories go, these are fine, but the devil is in the practical details. You see, there are saints, the spiritual achievers, who had certain experiences, who have certain powers, and who are very much all different, and it would be helpful to have some idea about their respective spiritual stature. This is not merely a dick-measuring contest: if there are two people who both obviously had powerful spiritual experiences, and they teach different, often completely incompatible things, it would be highly useful to know whose teaching is higher, or, more accurately, whose teaching is merely a phase that will at some point be transcended.

Since both Vedanta and Buddhism seem to teach something along the lines of a discrete point in spiritual progress where complete and unconditional liberation is attained, the idea about quantifying progress of people who claim enlightenment sounds incredibly misguided, at first, but if you tried making sense of something like Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi”, where various enlightened masters are mentioned, it is quite obvious that some are “more enlightened” than others. Vedanta, and, indeed, Yogananda, would attempt to explain this by claiming that all but the highest Masters are not enlightened enough, that some degree of separation exists between them and the Absolute, and if you’ve been following my writing with any degree of attentiveness, you will know that I find this explanation to be fundamentally flawed. They will let you believe that “enlightenment” is the goal, and spiritual magnitude is the way there. I, however, am more inclined to claim the opposite: “enlightenment” is merely an experience, an insight in how things look from a certain standpoint, which is truly more valuable than a normal human deluded state, but which by itself doesn’t really solve any problems. It merely shows you the point of reference by which one is to measure spiritual worth. It shows you sat-cit-ananda, the absolute reference-point of virtue, from the First Person perspective. But when you try to embody virtue – you can call it wisdom, love, understanding of reality, the ability to confer reality upon others – there are suddenly very real quantitative and qualitative differences that become quite apparent when you compare a beginner yogi who had an experience of samadhi, and someone like Krishna, or Shiva. In Buddhist terminology, it’s a difference between a monk who attained enlightenment, and Tara, whose teardrop of compassion can cast a tulku who can outshine the said monk in every possible way one can conceptualize enlightenment. It’s not a subtle difference in taste, it’s a difference between a flashlight and a Supernova explosion. Something more is going on here, and neither Vedanta nor Buddhism provide us with a satisfactory answer with their illusion/enlightenment dichotomy.

My modified version of the Kardashev scale quantifies civilizations by their degree of mastery of various aspects of the material universe – ability to produce food on their own, ability to understand physical laws and apply them to their own uses, ability to eventually create synthetic life and synthetic mind. The essential implication is that depth of understanding of reality results in increasing levels of power. The reason why I’ve been contemplating this in the recent days is that, apparently, the same principle applies to spirituality.

I don’t mean something as silly as the siddhi, as they are known in the scriptures. No, I don’t really define siddhi as being able to levitate or teleport or materialize another body, or some other, similarly material manifestation. In fact, I am wary of the material manifestations, because of who made this world and who controls such things. No, I define siddhi in the most radically different way, so radical it’s a direct translation of the sanskrit word. I define them as “achievements”. To achieve results of practice is to be a siddha: the one who achieved. To me, it means being established in a certain state of consciousness and being able to wield spiritual power the way ordinary humans can wield thoughts and emotions, or use their hands. It means being able to dress unspeakable states of consciousness into words, and accompany those words with the darshan of the actual thing you are talking about, being able to wield its living presence. Being able to influence physical matter is conspicuously absent from my definitions because, for all intents and purposes, it’s not a spiritual power, it’s something that can be blocked or granted by anyone with authority over the physical plane. Spiritual power, or spiritual achievement, means literally being able to wield spiritual substance. So, let’s create some quantitative frame of reference.

Let’s say that a person who practices some form of spirituality, but has no actual achievement, doesn’t really exist on this scale – that person is below level 1. Level 1 is the state in which a yogi has a degree of spiritual enlightenment, or participation in the Divine through darshan or samadhi, where he learns to exist in that state while he or she acts in the world. The point where the yogi in question manages to maintain the meditative/enlightened state while acting in the world in any way or form, is the point where the yogi is established as a level 1 siddha, albeit a beginner at this level.

This means that if you had an experience, and this experience shuts down when you speak, and you are locked out of it because you spoke egotistical bullshit, trying to claim it for your own selfish limited uses, you failed to achieve, and your experience is not in fact yours. The way you make it yours is by living in ways that are of God. By living in ways that are of God you claim God as your true nature, which is the true meaning of the level 1 siddhi.

If you live God as a level 1 siddha consistently, and you extend your awareness in ways that awake God in other beings and things, you achieve the level 2 siddhi. A level 2 siddha leaves a trail of blessings, objects of power, spiritual experiences in other people, and holy scriptures and artifacts.

Level 3 is somewhat difficult to describe. Total loss of identity-separation between limited-self and Divine-self, loss of the need to “fight ego”, assumption of the Divine role, loss of trying, and of spiritual practice, where one is no longer a yogi because there no longer is a yogic practice, just a name-and-form thin layer that wraps the reality of God-identity and God-power into a presence, that is level 3 siddhi.

Level 4 closes the ring of Creation as the total manifestation of Absolute in the Relative, the crown of all Creation, the goal of the existence of the Relative, master of The Jewel that maintains all worlds in his mind, whose is the ultimate, supreme victory.

How to measure technological advancement

I was thinking about the (modified) Kardashev scale recently, the implications and problems with it.

The original Kardashev scale basically classifies civilizations according to their energy consumption; type 1 uses all the energy of their planet, type 2 uses all the energy of their solar system, and type 3 uses all the energy of their own galaxy. The extended scale goes further, to multiple galaxies, universe and multiverse.

The issues I’m seeing with this are, first, that advancement and energy use don’t necessarily have to be directly correlated. An example of this problem is the original SETI assumption that an advanced civilization will emit radio waves into the universe, which is how we can detect them. The basis for this assumption was the fact that our own civilization at that time used land-based radio and TV emitters that radiated most of their output into space, and, of course, the assumption was that any self-respecting civilization will emit at least as much as we do. However, within several decades that changed; first we shifted to satellite relayed TV, which uses focused low-energy signals relayed from orbit, and doesn’t disperse anything into space. Soon thereafter, we shifted to the Internet, which transmits either through the wires or through satellite relays, and also doesn’t disperse anything into space. Basically, the window in which we had an EM signature detectable from space was 50 years. Furthermore, I remember an analysis saying that our type of unfocused emissions becomes undetectable past 1 lightyear, because it drops below background noise. You would have to use very strong lasers or nukes to be detectable from greater distances. So, this shows us how narrow-minded the assumptions of people such as Carl Sagan can be; they think they are smart and they have it all figured out, but their assumptions don’t really age well. Expecting an advanced civilization to keep requiring more energy, which it would obtain by capturing natural resources, is about as smart as someone from the Victorian era expecting that an advanced civilization would have to keep burning coal.

The second issue continues along this line: why would an advanced civilization harvest energy from its planet, or its star? Why wouldn’t it, for instance, learn to create its own? There’s only as much energy you can get by trying to tap the planet’s core, and at that point it might make more sense to use nuclear energy to produce heat directly and in a more controlled manner. Also, instead of building a Dyson sphere to capture the entire solar output, with extreme expenditure of resources wasted on building it, wouldn’t it be better to just learn how to, I don’t know, tap into vacuum energy, or, even better, learn how to do things so efficiently that you don’t have to use so much energy, and still produce better results? I’m thinking cars and computers: what we have today is much better than what we had 50 years ago, and uses much less energy. If we extend this line of thought, as a civilization gets more advanced, it first learns how to do something at all, and then learns how to do it better and more efficiently. Advancement isn’t in using “more coal”, it’s in using coal first, and then learning how to use electricity, and using nuclear energy to produce electricity. More powerful computers don’t use faster hard disks; they use NVMe solid state storage. They don’t use a CPU clocked to 10 GHz, they use 32 cores each clocked at 3GHz. As we can see, expectations of linear evolution of technology don’t really match what we are seeing in reality. Our more advanced technology didn’t require more radio/TV broadcasting towers to encompass the globe; it required many local cell towers and their connection to the Internet. I’ve seen experimental technology that uses LED lights to transmit data, and I use Ethernet over powerline devices to create LAN connections in my home without requiring additional infrastructure, which means that, theoretically, the information carrier can blend into the background so completely, it would be completely undetectable unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Also, a well insulated modern passive home can use less energy than a 20th century home, creating a false impression of a civilization going backwards on Kardashev scale. Also, a civilization that uses nuclear energy to produce electricity will have a drastic reduction in need for fossil fuels, and consequently a reduction in CO2 output. If someone measures technological advancement by CO2 output, on the assumption that more oxidative processes prove greater energy use and thus more advanced civilization, he will conclude that a nuclear civilization is going backwards. In fact, what if the need to tap into the natural resources doesn’t universally signify advancement, but only its initial stage where we haven’t yet figured out how to do it better? If we, theoretically speaking, learned how to convert any kind of matter into energy (I don’t know, by producing some kind of particle or a field that neutralizes the quark-gluon connections and results instant breakdown of nucleons into quark-gluon plasma, and almost immediately thereafter into energy), we could theoretically speaking obtain more energy, more efficiently, from a bag of dirt, than a Kardashev type 3 civilization from tapping all the stars in the Galaxy. The way into greater power isn’t, therefore, through linear expansion of less advanced technology, but through intellectual breakthroughs that make it possible for us to create more advanced technology, that does things better but differently. Also, space travel doesn’t really work by linearly expanding the Apollo programme, by building bigger chemical rockets. A breakthrough is needed, something along the lines of folding space, or the stars will remain forever out of our reach, and there’s nothing really interesting in the solar system anyway, which is why we didn’t really bother with it all that much.

So, it is my opinion that the Kardashev scale reflects the old 20th century way of thinking, and needs to be not expanded, but abandoned completely and replaced with something that actually reflects our present understanding of technological advancement.

For instance, Type 1 civilization learns to grow its own food, not relying on hunting and gathering, and produces its own materials, not relying on sticks, stones, leather and whatever is found in nature. We had Type 1 civilizations since early Holocene, with bronze age, agriculture and what not.

Type 2 civilization learns how to use scientific method and learns how to produce technology that uses physical laws in new ways, independent on what’s found in nature. Electromagnetic and nuclear energy, and using electricity and radio waves for long distance communication are examples of a type 2 civilization. We became a type 2 civilization somewhere in the 19th century.

Type 3 civilization goes further than that, into producing artificial thought, and artificial life. This means computers that perform logical operations and data processing, and genetic engineering that goes further than mere selection of desirable traits and cross-breeding, into designing life forms that are engineered to perform pre-defined tasks in pre-defined ways. We are at this point an early type 3 civilization.

Type 4 civilization is beyond our understanding at this point, because if we could actually understand it, we would be a type 4. I would guess that parting ways completely with anything that’s found in nature would be type 4, to the point where a type 4 civilization can rebuild the universe from the basic building blocks to its own physical body, erasing the distinction between physics, biology and technology.


I just had an abortive OS upgrade on the web/mail server. This produced an outage that lasted longer than predicted because someone changed something in the new Ubuntu Focal (or, should I say, Fecal) LTS, where postfix and dovecot can’t authenticate a connection to mysql database, which is interesting because PHP applications authenticate just fine, and it’s not an account/privileges problem because that’s the first thing I tried and it did nothing. Fortunately, I created a snapshot of the working system on AWS, and after two attempts of re-installation, I threw the towel and restored everything to Bionic, which is why everything works now. I think Linux and IT community in general have a problem with SJW infestation, and they are more preoccupied with trigger warnings, preferred pronouns and similar bullshit nobody cares for, instead of actually making shit work, or, to be more precise, keeping things functional and not fucking them up in newer revisions. Nobody gives a shit whether you think you’re saving the world by consuming copious amounts of soy and avocado products and driving electric; just don’t break postfix/dovecot connection to mysql, and it will be fine.

In addition, the condo I’m renting was damaged by the Zagreb earthquake in March and the damage keeps manifesting in various ways, from plaster occasionally falling from the ceiling, to, more worryingly, hydro-insulation on the roof being cracked, which resulted in two separate points of water dripping through the ceiling after strong rains, and it’s now rain season. I initially reported the damage to the landlord more than a month ago, still no repairs. I’m both fixing stuff that keeps falling apart around me (for instance, yesterday I changed the faucet in the kitchen which fell apart, and the washing machine is so loud it’s actually worse than a jet plane on takeoff, which hints at bearing failure in the near future), and trying to have backup plans, but this is really not something I want to be dealing with now, when the economy is about to shit itself and everybody seems to be preparing for some kind of a genocidal world war.

I almost forgot, the water here turned out to be diluted sewage – a neighbor did a bacteriological test and you don’t want to know, so I had to subscribe to a service that delivers 19l water tanks on demand so we at least have a source of good drinkable water. Oh goody.

On male and female spirituality

From the forum:

Yes, but it’s not that simple. What you’re asking me is basically “so surrender to God is good, if you choose the right God?” What I’m answering is, that’s not what I mean by surrender, nor is the right God something that is “a third party”, something you look for on the outside, in the sphere of items of focus.
You have a dubious honour of being the only person I know who got the concepts of surrender and devotion so wrong it’s actually dangerous, because you look like you’re literally tearing parts of yourself away and starving yourself of power and energy in order to do, something, hoping to get rid of evil things such as ego, and reach some core deep somewhere, that requires the kind of peace that shuts down your mind, and would be revealed once you manage to kill all parts of yourself that supposedly obscure it.
I think I have a pretty good idea about the root cause of your problem. You see, you look like someone who was learning that stuff from a woman, and the key part of the problem is that the woman didn’t explain to you why that worked for her, or, more likely, she didn’t know it to be a female-specific thing, so didn’t even think to have to explain; people seem to be clueless this way, not understanding their biases and unspoken assumptions. I am certainly evidence of that, at least in my early work.
The entire surrender/devotion aspect of spirituality was designed for the female system, relying heavily upon the sexual instincts and the way their mechanics is bound to the sushumna nadi and its vertical body-soul connection. You see, a woman didn’t explain this to you because she wouldn’t have to explain it to a woman, and she probably thinks men are just women with different genitals; basically, she generalized her experience, and thought she could just take a male student, castrate him a bit to remove everything that works in non-female ways, and also to make him less threatening, he’d be doing yogi energetics perfectly fine. I’m thinking […] here, but I might be mistaken because that appears to be the way the entire India thinks about these things – basic requirements for a student of spirituality being submissiveness and surrender. You see, if you put a woman in a submissive and surrendering attitude, and give her something to focus her devotion on, she will automatically do all the right things, because for a woman, surrender is not something you do *to* someone, it’s surrender to her own energy flow, from her feet upwards, mula bandha pull from the vagina inwards and immediately out the crown. That’s how female sexual energetics work – devotion, surrender, inward pull, and the power blows your head out. No woman would even think she would have to explain it to someone, because for her it’s such a normal thing she would absolutely never consider it’s not the baseline of human experience. Surrender times devotion equals orgasm.

But that’s not how it works for a male. In fact, if you try to teach a male to do this the female way, you basically destroy his spiritual core of power. For a male, the equation isn’t surrender times devotion, it’s power times virtue times being needed. A woman strengthens her spiritual connection by surrendering to that which is worthy of worship, and the result is being “more her true self”, that gets her “in the right place”. That’s why women try to find virtuous, powerful men who are worthy of their devotion and surrender. It makes them feel more like themselves, or, in the language of energetics, it increases the vertical body-spirit connection by increasing the flow through sushumna nadi, and the result is what […] would call “grounding”, being centered in the feeling of asmita, self-ness, being your true self at your proper place. Of course, she wouldn’t describe it in those terms, because she doesn’t necessarily know what’s going on when she’s doing it, she just knows what works for her, and assumes it will work for everyone if they’re not fucked up. Unfortunately, being male is something she sees as “fucked up”, because she perceives it as creating resistance, and she’s developed an entire technique as breaking male resistance and putting them into surrender mode, mostly by using pain. Of course, it’s the opposite of useful, and that’s why a man shouldn’t be learning yoga from a woman, nor should a woman be learning yoga from a man. I’m an exception because I’m actually awesome at female energetics, I’m better at it than every single female yogi I know, which is why I understand their implicit assumptions and can verbalize them, and I can work with a female’s system in a way that increases her power. I also know not to try anything of the sort with a man, because that would be a disaster.
With a man, you achieve the feeling of “being at the right place” and “being your true self”, or “grounding”, in completely different ways. It’s get your shit together, be virtuous, be responsible, it’s actually ajna-cakra that does the focus, both inwards and outwards, the grasp of insight and power, and then go through the organs of action such as visuddha, anahata, manipura etc. to implement the spirit-will. It’s something you’ll never hear in the “spiritual circles”, which is why I keep warning you against them, because they are for the most part all completely ignorant and their advice is harmful unless you happen to be a woman. For women, telling them to worship Krishna, to cultivate devotion and surrender, is a great advice. But to a man, you need to tell him to become Krishna. He needs to develop the power of Krishna, the spiritual magnitude, self-possession, insight into what’s the right thing to do, the ability to go against the generally accepted rules when that’s the right thing to do, you need to tell him that he needs to be able to call on to his spiritual weapons and deploy them instantly and without hesitation when needed. He needs to be able to kill, to teach, to serve, to protect and to guide, and to be able to tell when to do which.

In a strange way, the terms such as “surrender” and “devotion” can be applied to the male way of doing things, only they mean different things. To me, “surrender” means to invoke power by turning the consciousness to the right place and the “surrender” part is just feeling it, feeling “the will of the Force” manifest action. It’s getting out of the way of the will of God that manifests, so yes, it’s surrender, and you can also call that feeling “devotion”, the feeling that something is awesome and great and it is crushing all obstacles in its path. However, this feeling of having the power at your “mental fingertips” and wielding it without hesitation, should be named somewhat differently to avoid confusion of male and female paths. That’s why I will say that I’m “wielding power”, and you did see a glimpse of that when I did that thing to your water bottle, and possibly at other times; you can go back in time in meditation and see it in slow motion so you can see what shifts of consciousness I’m doing.

What is extremely important to understand is that male and female sex are not just a physical thing, and they are definitely not a “social construct” of any kind. Sex defines the way your soul connects to your body, the way your mind works, the way your emotions whirl, the way your willpower functions. It’s the absolute cornerstone and if you try to work against your gender in spiritual work, you’ll just keep harming yourself. So, instead of trying to “surrender more”, just do some awesome shit, and you’ll get the kind of spiritual results that will make your female counterpart wet with surrender and devotion.

The girls are great at knowing what works for them. They suck at knowing what will work for a guy. Basically, instead of trying to modify you so that their method would work for you, they need to understand that what works for you is something that would turn you into someone who will make them wet.

On renunciation and spiritual autonomy

From the forum:

There are several issues underlying your question.
First is the assumption that renunciation of the worldly possessions and surrender to God are tightly correlated. I personally see no evidence for that. You can renounce all your worldly possessions all you want and still be a nasty, egotistical cunt, “Mother Theresa” was an example of that – an incredibly nasty and toxic person, but a first class sannyasi.
The second is the assumption that renunciation is tightly correlated with divestment of energy from the world. Here, as well, I see scant evidence for this assumption; the most fatal forms of investment of energy into the world that I had the misfortune to witness took form of surrender and devotion to “God”, where “God” was an intellectual pointer to Sanat Kumar. I never saw anything more harmful and fatal anywhere, so in order to avoid the most terrible outcome, I would strongly advise against this form of piety.
The third is the assumption that renunciation is somehow correlated to high spirituality. I see no evidence for that, either; in fact, not only does this world not reward “lilies of the field”, it so strongly attacks anyone who is actually successful in working against it, that such people don’t have an issue of renouncing anything, because there are ‘scripts’ designed to deplete them of resources. I was targeted by several such scripts and if not for the help from people present here, my career of a world-transformer would have been short lived. 🙂 However, if we ignore those scripts, I still don’t see a strong correlation between true spirituality and renunciation, because it is for the most part impossible to survive here if you strip yourself of resources; however, if you see it as a war in which you need to establish a fortified beachhead, your efforts to shield yourself from spiritually harmful influences will look like attachment to worldly possessions to a superficial observer, but nothing can actually be farther from the truth. Sri Yuktesvar, for instance, used his inheritance to fortify himself against attacks that vied to compromise his spiritual work and independence. Lahiri Mahasaya used his job at the Indian railroad to create a protected zone for his spiritual work. In cases I had the opportunity to observe, control over aspects of the world (usually in form of money, power and possession) are a significant asset to one’s spirituality, as they are much more of a shield than they are a hindrance. They give a yogi independence from other people’s energetic influences and, thus, from corruption. Lack of money, from what I can see, doesn’t mean freedom and detachment, it means vulnerability, exposure to harmful energies, and I see only grave dangers from this direction. Sure, there will always be some “spiritual” idiot to claim that you can’t take money with you to the other world, as if that’s what a yogi would attempt. Owning things isn’t the point, the point is to isolate and shield yourself against people who want to own and control you in this world. People who use mosquito repellent don’t do it because they like the way it smells. They use it because the mosquitoes hate it. That’s what money and physical power are to a yogi: a mosquito repellent. Interestingly, Sanat Kumar agreed, which explains his main vector of attack against me.
The siddhis are really the root issue. Fools will say that you don’t need siddhis to levitate food to your mouth if you have hands, as if that’s what one would use them for. No, the reason why siddhis are so powerfully banned here is not because of what you could do with them, but what they prevent others from doing to you. If you had siddhis, you wouldn’t be forced to work for money, therefore others wouldn’t have a claim on part of your life. You wouldn’t have to live in civilization, so you wouldn’t be forced to suffer the astral pressure of other humans. You wouldn’t be forced to interact with humans for every single need. Basically, the siddhis would negate all the satanic things this world was designed to *do to you*. They are a shield, which is why they were the first thing you were stripped of. The second shield you had was your memory, your understanding of who you are, what this world is, your ability to protect yourself from evil based on experience and knowledge. When that was stripped away, anyone could basically convince you of anything, and you were placed in a position of total dependence. This position of total dependence, incidentally, looks very much like sannyasa – you don’t have anything of this world, you can’t really do anything in this world, and the world can do whatever it wants with you. It’s a situation that is not really conducive to defending your spirituality from attacks, which is why I see exactly zero reasons to find it useful or desirable.
There’s another underlying assumption, and that is that power and money corrupt. I already wrote about that at length; money can expose one’s corruption if it’s already there, but won’t create it where it’s absent. A yogi won’t just develop a desire to blow money on whores and cocaine if he has money; I know people who think exactly that, and that’s because they fear their hidden desires. I have no such desires so I find the concept ridiculous and hypocritical: why would you shield yourself from such desires by renouncing money, instead of dealing with your desires in the first place? Depleting yourself of power, thinking it will make you more spiritual, is definitely an issue you have, and it is all based on misapprehensions and delusions of some kind.

I would add something else.
The issue isn’t in what you renounce, or surrender. The core issue is what you are, what you are made of, and on what resources you are pulling on in order to build yourself, and to create thoughts, words and actions. If this resource you’re pulling on is brahman, then you have the right foundation and the issue of surrender and renunciation doesn’t even arise. It’s not as if such foundation will just magically appear by negation – you strip things away and brahman is what remains underneath. No. I’ve heard such theories and they are all completely wrong. If you strip things away, you will end up not only with nothing, you will end up being nothing, and I don’t mean it in some abstract sense where it’s a good thing. Renunciation is a pastime of idiots, because if you start with your consciousness, with asmita, and realize that asmita is good because it’s of brahman, and you pull more from where that goodness came from, you will understand how I write these texts, what sources I pull on, and you will also realize that the concept of “giving things up” in order to get there doesn’t even arise, because the very idea is deluded from start to finish, it has no healthy elements whatsoever. If you peel yourself like an onion to get to the core, you will unfortunately find out that onions have no core. You don’t peel the onion to get to the essence of onion, you just need to accept that you already have the essence of what onion is, right on the starting point. Spiritual growth starts by understanding that you are already in the core of things, only you don’t understand it properly and pull from it properly. Surrendering things and giving things up in order to get to God… it’s such a stupid and useless idea I wonder who ever thought of such damn nonsense. It’s actually what Śakyamuni tried first, and guess what, it didn’t work. Then he changed the approach, and guess what…

ps. Ever thought of why my first book is called “A Yogi approach”? Because it’s about the approach to things. That’s where the “click” has to happen. A yogi approach is what is needed.

The reason why I prefer Patanjali’s “asmita” to the “atman” of vedanta is because it’s a “virgin term” for most people; it’s not “poisoned” by interpretation. You see, brahman is explained as something that’s so awesome it can’t really be part of your experience, and atman is basically a symbolic link to brahman, and also can’t be part of your experience, because it’s so awesome and you suck so much, so your definition of self must be that other term, the filthy one used to describe everything that’s wrong with you and needs to die: ego, or ahamkara/mamata.

That’s why I decided to introduce Patanjali’s term for atman manifested in human consciousness: asmita, or the sense of self. You can call it ‘ego’ if you prefer Latin to sanskrit, but it has no nasty implications. Basically, it’s the best approximation of atman that you have as a human being without entering samadhi, where asmita reveals itself as atman/brahman, when you realize that “tat tvam asi“, or “tat brahman aham“. Or, translated to English, “God fucking damn it, it was here all along!” 🙂