No one wants Truth.
On more than one occasion I heard Durga Ma say this. “People want their desires fulfilled,” she would say. In my early years with her I took that statement very personally and would often make pleas in vain for the people of the world, truly believing on some level she was wrong.
Except she wasn’t wrong. It is the truth.
It is said that all desire emerges from the single original desire to return back to our original state (union, or yoga). Yet over time, with our learning and conditioning holding hands with various life experiences, it becomes deluded. We forget. This is where Truth becomes truth and Self becomes self. The Absolute gives way and we become identified and thus bound to the Relative (material) realm of existence.
I would discuss this with Durga Ma and make the argument that if all desire is ultimately desire for Truth/God/Divine, then of course people do want it. They just don’t know it.
Don’t be like me.
On one hand this is a great intellectual argument to inspire people to the idea that they are seeking Truth. However, at the end of the day we don’t know what we don’t know. It is a noble thing to aspire after Truth. It is also arduous, complex, filled with obstacles and suffering just as much as it’s siblings of peace, joy and bliss.
If we are seeking Truth to the exclusion of all else, that means the walls of our perceived realities will have to come down… all of them. Presenting the threat to life as we know it, and that’s a real thing. I should add that the illusion we can protect our perceived life to begin with is also a real thing.
At some point Durga Ma and I started having some real frank conversations about the state of the world. Despite the ways in which we see beauty in the world, people are not enlightened and this is not the beginning of a Golden Age. When there is mass killing, war, violence, starvation, and general bad behavior spread across the planet, we can’t afford the luxury of leaning on an ideal of global awakening without first taking responsibility for our own choices and actions.
It is, however, an amazing age. People are having spiritual awakenings all across the world in and outside of spiritual environments. This points to a shift, and an important one in my humble opinion. It also points to our individual and collective responsibility that comes with that priviledge.
We have a responsibility to know what it is we actually want, with the knowledge that desire over Truth doesn’t make anyone less than anyone else. But it will give us the power to make the appropriate choices consciously to get there.
These discussions I mentioned having with Durga Ma kept leading me back to one glaring observation… people are suffering. They are starved for connection, meaning, and love. That is what most people actually want more than Truth. So here’s the thing about it… that’s totally natural and just as noble as seeking Truth and Liberation.
In this world one cannot afford to ignore anyone. Every human being has a claim to some measure of respect and support from every other. No one should think that he is of greater importance for the maintenance of order in the universe than anyone else. Without a ruler a country cannot be governed, on the other hand there can be no ruler without subjects. Each one is progressing continually on the path of action that has been assigned to him by the Creator. Therefore, to consider oneself great and others small because of any merit or position of prestige one may have acquired, is a serious mistake. Rather than regard this vast universe as a conglomeration of countless particles, look upon it as one indivisible cosmos, and all distinctions between high and low will then disappear. A man who respects himself will have even more respect for others. Without respect reverence cannot develop, and without reverence love will not awaken. When love is wanting the Lord of Love recedes into the far distance and will be difficult to find.
-Anandamayi Ma from Sad Vani
What many people don’t know (at least in the West, according to my experience) is that this is a natural phase of life that ultimately leads to the desire for Truth. When we have made enough success and progress in our “worldly life,” we naturally seek Truth. Mainly because we experience the emptiness of material wealth in all it’s forms… we get bored. Then comes the next phase in life where we begin to turn our attention inward and seek freedom.
So now we have another viewpoint, and still people having spiritual awakenings all over the place in the midst of worldly life and no idea what to do with it. I think the short answer is, nothing… drastic. The Western world runs on action more than patience and contemplation. An awakening is like a call, an initiation to get your attention to pay attention. It’s the beginning, not the end.
While I appreciate the enthusiasm and drive of the exploding spiritual phenomenon in the Western world, we might be more inclined to find what we are looking for by listening to the spiritual instinct within and what it is truly asking of us. The noble path is knowing and honoring the truth within oneself, because that knowledge gives us the power to make conscious choices to get there. This is a vital part of the process of awakening (in my opinion).
If the answer is Truth, then go for it. If the answer is to fulfill desire for success, love, connection, healing, then go for it. All paths lead home. This leads into the subject of Kundalini… of which I am including a recording (Part One) of a talk given by Durga Ma in 1992.
With the spiritual movement growing like wildfire, I will reveal that not only can I be stubborn, but I am also vigilant. There is a LOT of misinformation out there about kundalini. She is not for people who want success and happiness in life. She has one job, evolution. I say this with great love and concern for protecting what it is that you want, and your venture in attaining it. While the mystery around her can be alluring, knowledge is imperative and essential to your journey.
Listen to Durga Ma’s talk on Kundalini – Part One here