Monday, March 22, 2010

Two Very Valid Questions

My friend JP posed two very valid questions in response to my previous blog "Extricating the Diamond". I think all who visit my blog must benefit from these questions that have been raised and the answers I am providing.
JP's questions:

The subject of 'attachment' brings about interesting thoughts. While most spiritual scriptures prescribe staying away from attachments/desires, we as humans are programmed (right from childhood) to seek, have goals, excel, achieve. The more 'success' you want, the harder you work (and desire) for it. Yet, this seems to be the exact opposite of what most religious/spiritual texts prescribe. So, my Q is - why is there such a disconnect??? It is not like parents and grandparents of our generation or otherwise are 'ignorant' of this notion that attachments and desires are 'maya' and non-permanent. So, why do you think we 'stray'?

Another aspect that I would like to bring out and would love to hear your opinion is the following.... Many spiritual texts prescribe that the one desire that is OK to have is, to have union with God or the Love of God. Others are not so desirable (pun intended!) as it leads to indulgence in and of the self and/or leads to boosting or feeding one's ego. So does it mean that Love of (or desire for) God (or the self, if you believe in non-duality) is not considered attachment?? How do we explain this.

As always, I appreciate your comments.


Tib's answers

Thank you for the sharing. Two very valid questions you have raised and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.

The first question is regarding the disconnect between what the spiritual masters have been saying and the real life situation in which we find ourselves.

Humans are a continuously evolving species. Our evolution is not only physical but it is also in the consciousness plane. This is now proven by very many scholars both in the scientific field as well as in the philosophical and spiritual field. One of the greatest proponents, of humans as evolving towards higher levels of consciousness, was Sri. Aurobindo. Consciousness studies in sociology and philosophy has identified five clear states through which humans have evolved. They are tribal, warrior, traditional, modern and post-modern. I do not want to go into details here but you can broadly understand that in ‘tribal’, humans were in close identity with nature, in ‘warrior’, the ego and power dominated. In the ‘traditional’, religious dogma, laws and subjugation was predominant. The industrial age brought out an attitude of breaking free with the domination of science and a rebellious generation of people came into existence. This is the ‘modern’ level of consciousness. You should also understand that humans do not go through total change from age to age in their consciousness but live with a combination of these different structures. I will stop here because for the question raised, you can realize that the ‘warrior’ and ‘modern’ are predominantly operating in humans today. This is the reason we seek power and control and we employ tools from the ‘modern’ structure to achieve our ambition.

But spiritual masters understood that the inner Self always seeks the ultimate all pervading consciousness. This is the reason that they talked off transcending beyond the current levels and structures of our consciousness towards the higher reality. Today, we are already seeing a lot of contemporary philosophers and thinkers like, Ken Wilber, Alan Combs, who are not spiritual Gurus but who have evolved concepts like holistic thinking and ‘Integral’ consciousness.

Finally to answer your question, we have 90% of humanity is still rooted in ‘warrior’ and ‘traditional’ consciousness and control 99% of the global resources. People who are at the ‘integral’ stage are less than 1% of humanity. This is the reason the disconnect happens.

The second question has been asked by true seekers throughout humanity.

The command, desire for God and none other, places God in an objective category. Scriptures were written not as literary document but mainly as esoteric texts. For example the concept of ‘Nirguna’ Brahma and ‘Saguna’ Brahma was introduced for the understanding of a very difficult concept, namely God. For the common man God could be grasped through the divine attributes which all could see in action (creation, preservation and destruction). Similarly, attachment or desire for God can not be equated to a human attachment to a reality that manifests itself in the sensory level. The attachment that is to be avoided of which the Gita or Spiritual texts speak is for a reality in the sensory and the resultant mental constructs. God can not be comprehended through a mental or sensory modality and hence this attachment or desire for God has to have a new meaning as reaching out to or longing for in our higher consciousness level.

Most rituals today do not address this higher meaning though originally, when these very same rituals were instituted, they were meant to elevate the consciousness of the devotee and not intended for some mental satisfaction.

I hope I have been able to provide some clarity.

Thanks for this opportunity JP


  1. A very good explanation and a joy to read.

  2. SS, the joy is mutual when the appreciation comes from you.

  3. A good discussion indeed.
    I do feel that desire for god should be equated to desire for humanbeings.In a broad sense this is where our trascendence for higher conciousness can begin.Our attachment to God should redefine our earthly attachments in such a way that it becomes all encompassing and universal in nature.

  4. Thanks for the beautiful explanation attributing it to conciousness states. It seems to make sense and helps answer the conflict in my mind.
    Now, with that said, I'm curious to learn more about the planes of conciousness. You have aroused the curiosity in my mind.

    Perhaps a blog 'Conciousness for the spiritual newbie' when you get a chance, would be great :)

  5. Subathra, thanks for the input.

  6. JP, thanks for the appreciation.
    There are many explanations in various spiritual traditions. I will try and devote a few blogs in this area.

  7. The question is very well explained with the help of five clear states through which humans are being evolved. As the author rightly said, 90 % (or even more) of the humanity is still rooted in the primitive stage and continued to be disillusioned by the materialistic views till the last day

  8. Thanks Pramod, You have beautifully stated the reality of existence today. I was missing your comments.