There is a big difference between doing drugs, basking in śakti, and spiritual practice. That should be obvious, but it’s not. With drugs there is no self-effort, and the result is a counterfeit experience. We are continuing the small self’s delusion; we are on the grid. If we are lucky, we wake up where we started and have a great memory. Around a teacher, if we simply bask in śakti, we are fooling ourselves, mistaking supersensory experience for spiritual attainment. When the teacher passes on the experience dries up. In true spiritual practice there is constant self-effort over time, which will open us to grace.
Spiritual practice brings us permanently to God and Love. We are then independent and free. Drugs bring us to dependency—on the drugs, and on a pusher. We can also treat śakti like a drug. The result is the same: we are never free. Depending on the drug, we either numb ourselves or delude ourselves into thinking all kinds of things.
The real issue is what people believe is the goal of spiritual practice.
If your goal is numbing, dissociating and having super, drug-like experiences, then you may as well just do drugs. The price is the same, and the lifestyle may be more indulgent for you. The small self gets to be “enlightened”, and you do not have to surrender anything. You have your idea of God, your idea of the world, your idea of everything. You will just need a good supplier of the drugs. Remember, you will be dependent on an outside substance—but not to worry, you are in charge of when you use it.
People who believe that dissociating, not feeling anything, and having śakti experiences is the goal—which is the same goal as the drug users—feel a little more arrogant because they actually worked enough to get an awakening. The problem is, they then allowed their small self to take ownership of their experiences. As a result, they believe they really are “enlightened”. They can then consider themselves graduated from the teacher and strike out on their own.
The problem with real spiritual practice is that we have to work. We can become the master only by surrendering to the Master: God. And though that sounds simple, it is anything but easy.
If God is what you really want, you will have to have a teacher. You will have to give up dissociating. You will have to give up your attachment to super-duper experiences. You will have to give up the one who wanted these experiences in the first place. Sorry, but that is the way it works. You will have to be awake. You will have to take off your blinders.
The way to true independence is to surrender our individuality, our separateness. The only one who is independent is God. When you say, “I do not want to be dependent on Rohini”, you are right. Neither do I. I want to be with God. People used to say, “You are dependent on Baba”. “Thank God I was” would be my answer. By surrendering to the Guru—who, by the way is not an individual—I was able to begin the process of dissolving myself, so that the Self could manifest clearly. In surrendering to Baba, I am freer and more independent than I ever was before meeting him.
The true teacher fosters this true independence. The true teacher wants the student to become a master. Drugs never do. Any drug encourages us to adore it and need it. Then, the small self is the master always, and we are dependent. The small self dopes us—I mean, dupes us—with dope.
So what about the teacher? Following a teacher can be like using drugs if that teacher encourages numbing and blindness. But if you have a teacher who is surrendered to God, then as long as you surrender, your life will get better and better.
Use drugs, and your life will get worse and worse. It will crumble, and the time under the influence will become your main focus. With spiritual practice your daily life and relationships come alive, and you are free to be you.
These foursquares reveal the misunderstandings of spiritual practice that can trip us up on the path, or take us completely away from it:
|Committed to practice||Self-indulgent (paying attention to self)|
|Fanatical / obsessive||Self-restrained / measured (paying attention to self)|
|Reliant||Arrogant (too arrogant to rely on anyone)|
What it comes down to is that you should be reliant on the Guru, not dependent on Rohini. And you had better be reliant on the practice.
Share this Post