The path of enlightenment has no direct relationship with lifestyle. To mistake enlightenment for a particular lifestyle would be like mistaking the filament in a light bulb, rather than the electricity, as the source of the light. Theoretically, an enlightened person could just as easily own a Lear Jet and be a member of the Playboy Club as be a hermit in the woods eating fruit and berries.
Before I went traveling I lived in a house
Before I went traveling I lived in a house where we banned the word “Enlightenment.” At the time it was the impossible, unreachable, unfathomable dream, and I suppose we couldn’t take the pressure of being held up to our Goal, being only human as we were.
Self-righteous attempts at conventional religion; experiments with grass, acid, speed; chanting Hare Krishna down Fifth Avenue; endless wanderings around the earth — so began the search for enlightenment among my friends more than 10 years ago. It’s hard to see if anyone has become enlightened, and if they have, they haven’t become better human beings for it.
Like everyone, I was looking for inner peace and happiness. There were the days of booze and drugs. The two hours each day of Yoga positions which included breathing exercises that almost blew my head off. Concentrative meditation which was preceded by a primal scream for everyone to be quiet.
To come to an understanding of the intrinsic workings of everyday life, primitive man sought order amidst the chaos of his existence. Tides came in and washed over ground that was dry and untouchable only days before. Cold made barren the lushness of a summer forest.
Quite frankly, I never really gave a second thought to any of this “spiritual” stuff until I was studying for my writtens and read some of the philosophy of quantum physics — it was very high and caused my third eye to open up for the first time. Was science really all that different from religion?
If you look hard enough for a reason to support something you want to believe in, you’ll find it. We select a belief as we do a mate, seeking for that which best reflects ourselves and our needs. Both are fragile and tenuous affairs, but how much more fervently one will hold onto some beliefs, after many loves have come and gone.
“Well, is the house still there?” she asks in the morning, rubbing sleep from her eyes. Yes, I think, it’s there: the universe holds together. This morning, as every morning: the house, the street outside, the house across the street: their lives, our lives. What more assurance, what greater truth, can we ask for?