“The supreme calling of every human being is to aspire to self-realization.” ~ Anandamayi Maa
The ambition to enlightenment is as much a lifestyle choice as it is interior refurbishment. The decision to forgo suffering is a determination to release yourself from the ball and chain of ignorance, to free yourself from being shackled to the world by your mind.
Your mind-body is your instrument for dealing with and enjoying your life. Becoming enlightened is a finer tuning of that instrument. There are practical, physical steps to accelerate your ascent to enlightenment and live in peak condition (everyone’s peaks being relative).
“An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.” ~ Roman author Pliny the Younger
Your only physical needs are sleep, warmth, sustenance, and some bodily comfort. The mind too insists on its own comfort, but that only means something if you are letting your mind run your life.
Your desires arise from attachment to specific symbols which you identify as bringing seconds of pleasure. Your wishful motifs are always about consuming something, whether you eat it, look at it, listen to it, touch it, or just spend time with it.
You consume the scenery like you do a cupcake; the only difference is that the scenery doesn’t wind up in your stomach. Whatever you consume, the satisfaction is always and only in your mind.
“The mind is everything.” ~ Indian guru Buddha
Desires are products of the mind and fulfilled in the mind. Whatever you do to fulfill a want is merely instrumental. What you do in the world you are really doing in your mind. Actuality may be physical, in it’s really all a mental mirage.
You are never going to run out of desires. The last desire of a realized person is to be done with this life – the will to live spent.
So, the problem is not desire per se. Instead, the issue is attachment to desires.
Your desires are to consume. In contrast, when you are attached to something, it is you who is being consumed: your desire is so strong that it clouds your judgment and unbalances your perspective. To consume is to be consumed.
Work product and skill acquisition aside, the idea of time as an investment is a fiction. The past does not exist, and you cannot change it. Out of the ever-present lies the prospect of a brighter future only with courage.
Abandon fear and other emotional tethers which hold you back. Only by disentangling yourself can you attain the clarity of enlightenment. Find contentment by abandoning attachment altogether. Live for entertainment value and the intrinsic reward of work well done.
“Contentment is natural wealth. Luxury is artificial poverty.” ~ Greek philosopher Socrates
“Eat little, sleep sound.” ~ Iranian proverb
Eating right is a regimen. Eat as little as you can and still stay vigorous. Go to bed every night on an empty stomach. Get a bit of exercise before breakfast.
Eat mostly fresh fruit and vegetables. Relatively small portions of seeds – nuts, grains, and legumes – are good.
(Spokes 4: The Ecology of Humans covers health, including diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mind-altering substances.)
The moronic modern myth about diet is protein. Your cells fabricate 100% of the proteins they use. Any protein you eat is broken down during digestion to constituent amino acids and acidic byproducts which take a toll on your body.
Vegetable-based proteins are more digestible, and less acidic, than animal-based. An exception to this is soy. Unfermented soy (including tofu) taxes the system and should not be eaten. Processed soy protein is a dietary abomination.
On a vegan diet that includes vegetables (not just fruit), is impossible not to eat more than enough protein. Too much protein ages you, as protein is the most digestively-taxing food.
If you are eating well – that is, not too much – your cells get many of their amino acids from recycled cellular components, topped off by fresh food supplies. If you are eating too much, you are getting fat, and your cells are not operating efficiently.
You get fat by eating too much, regardless of what you eat. As an evolutionary trade-off to maintaining energy-expensive muscle mass, the human body readily stores excess nutrients as fat, and gets energy from fat cells when the food supply runs short.
Vegetable fats, such as avocados, are good for you. Fat in your diet has nothing to do with the fat on your body. Consumed sugar is readily stored as fat.
Other than fruit and honey, which are great for you, sugars are bad for you. Processed sugar of any sort is never healthy. Processed honey is not nearly as healthy as raw honey.
Most the stuff sold in supermarkets as food is not food – it’s slow-motion poison. Unless the ingredients are healthsome and the product positively yummy, avoid processed foods.
Dairy clogs your system horribly. You are not a calf, so consuming cow’s milk or cheese, with its copious animal fats and proteins, is unhealthy.
Eggs are generally considered dairy but are in a class by themselves as a rich source of digestible protein, vitamins, and minerals – everything an embryo needs for development. Eat eggs sparingly.
Meat is an all-out assault on your health. Seafood used to be good for you, but the world’s oceans and waterways are now so polluted that the health risks of fish and other seafoods generally outweigh their benefits.
Food represents the penultimate physical trade-off. While food is essential, the countdown clock to your death takes a tick every time you eat. You only have so many meals in you. Eating consumes you at funeral pace.
“Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.” ~ American cartoon character Homer Simpson
Taking mind-altering substances is a popular pastime among the Collective. Alcohol is a perennial favorite. Many other drugs to muddle the mind are used. Several American states have legalized marijuana so that the populace can deepen their stupidity.
The reason people besot themselves is to gain a reprieve from the mind’s unsettling predations. Making yourself stolid is no solution.
You cannot attain a higher state of consciousness by indulging in substances which dull awareness. Instead, raise awareness by constantly focusing on the task and environment before you, not what comes from nattermind. Resolutely quiet the mind when it intrudes. With determination to live transcendentally you will succeed: the mind will quiet.
Regular exercise is critical to good health. Exercise your mind by learning. Absorb information of any and every kind. Your life is a play of fictions. Enrich the play.
Walk a lot, preferably amid Nature. Even just being outside in natural surroundings is healthful.
Exercise your body regularly. Elevate your heart rate. Give those muscles a workout. Don’t overdo it. Your joints will get you before your muscles ever do.
“Sleep is the chief nourisher in life’s feast.” ~ English playwright and poet William Shakespeare
Sleep as much as your mind-body wants. One of the grim sins of the modern lifestyle is insufficient sleep.
Your goal in life should be enjoying yourself. Any abiding feeling of positivity you experience comes from your connection with Ĉonsciousness. This you accomplish by being, without need of doing.
Abandon the idea of your own self or the world as holding intrinsic value. Both are illusions in which you should not overly indulge, and never invest in.
Any satisfaction with accomplishment should be in the process of craft work: of skill exercised and furthered by learning to be even better. Results are mere artifacts.
Do nothing that revs the mind. Do not compete. The mental act of competition is investment in the illusion of self, and in making performance itself a prize. Only ignorant people compete. If you want to amuse yourself by doing something socially, where you focus and try to do your best – well, that sounds like fun.
Whatever you do, do it elegantly. Make grace your goal.
“The world is full of contradictions, hence your search for harmony and peace. These you cannot find in the world, for the world is the child of chaos.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
As enlightenment dawns, you are likely to increasingly find the noise of ignorance disagreeable. Solitude becomes more appealing.
Smug ignorance is a common mental illness among the Collective, especially the cocky. The foolery of ‘scientific’ naïve realism – faith in actuality as reality – can be as hard to take as the tripe of theist religiosity.
Do not contend. You cannot clue the clueless. The Collective are a fickle lot when it comes to wisdom: far less interested in learning than in preserving their self-esteem and social standing.
“The ignorant man is ignorant of his ignorance.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Ignorance manifests as evil. Malevolent people are merely symptoms of the rot in an ignorant world.
“The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance.” ~ Socrates
Morality is fairness. Act morally. If you take, give back. Reciprocity remains the ink in which sensible social relations are written. If you decide to give, do so without the expectation of return.
Meet your acknowledged obligations but feel no further duty. Do not accept false responsibilities.
Invest in your own well-being. Beyond social grace, feel no obligation of undue attentiveness or generosity to others. Becoming enlightened is not a transformation into a vending machine of beneficence.
Beyond necessity, the only value of sociality is entertainment. Spirituality does not preclude liveliness. Do not confuse engagement with attachment. Dance a jig with a smile.
Remain the witness to all before you. Maintain your psychospace, so that you may judge the qualities of your own acts with the same scrutiny you do others. Look at your own shortcomings as steppingstones for improvement. Constantly aim to raise your game.
You may change yourself, but you cannot change anyone else. Don’t try. The question is never whether someone will change sufficiently for you to be comfortable with them. Instead, the issue is whether the discomfort someone else inspires in you is worth their presence in your life.