The Art of Renunciation…

“ Attachment destroys courage. The giver is always ready to give. The taker is absent. Freedom means letting go. People just do not care to let go of everything. They do not know that the finite is the price of the infinite, as death is the price of immortality. Spiritual maturity lies in the readiness to let go everything. The giving up is the first step. But the real giving up is in realizing that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own. It is like deep sleep – you do not give up your bed when you fall asleep – you just forget it..”.


Sri Nisargaddata Maharaj: from  (“I AM THAT” Page 363/364)


Renunciation, for the most part is a very misunderstood subject.  It’s wrapped up in philosophies and practices, ideas and understandings that at best distort and distract from any sort freedom, let alone realization.  Instead, most seekers are lead to simply more confusion and frustration as a result of the interpretations and misinterpretations of ideas that are added onto, an already complex concept.  


In its innocent sense, renunciation [detachment, letting go] is never about “things” be they material things [ houses, relationships, money or blogs etc  ] OR spiritual things [happiness, peace purpose, enlightenment].  However valuable, however noble, however humble or infinite the list may be, it is not the list that needs to be renounced, but the “I” that created the list in the first place; the “I” that imagines itself to be.


This is what Nisargaddata meant when he said “the taker is absent”; a subtle, but powerful reference to suggest that it is the “I” that does not in fact exist in reality [you exist, but you exist in ways the “you” cannot imagine or know].  You [we] are the taker(s); the one(s) who imagine(s) itself [our self] as real, so real you [we] spend our lives building up our personalities with wants, needs and desires and fears; psychologies of software built on self engendered thinking and conditioning ~ be it carnal and or Spiritual conditioning.


Our life in fact is a story of how we love, hate, pursue, improve, edit or sanitize, as best we can the story of an “I” and its infinite series of perceptions built on the foundation of an “I”, “me”, “mine”, “you”, “them” and “us”.


The wants, needs and desires of the imagined “I” are so real we create vast stories and philosophies of how we came here, why we came here and where we will go.  We create monuments and legacies, good and bad that help secure the stories we have so desperately pursued or failed at.  We create wars that include the prerequisites of any story; the victors and vanquished.


“People do not care to let everything go” because most human beings are un willing to investigate the facts that it is their very perceived existence that is at question [who you imagine yourself to be].  When you begin to investigate and question the validity of the “I”, there is no need to address even one item on the list of what you imagine you need to be detached to. Who is the one who is attached?  How can an imagined you, be attached to anything?


It was never about giving up the money, sex, drugs or rock and roll; how can an “I” that does not exist in any absolute sense; be something, do something, have something, create something or give something up? 


It was all about uncovering your (our) real nature, by detaching from the real source of our troubles and suffering to begin with ~ the “I”, an “I” that imagined itself to be; with a history, a story, a past, a present, a future, a lesson to learn and a purpose for being.


Giving up is “the first” and only step, but it has nothing to do with the list, that will always go on as long as there is an “I” there to perceive it.  Renunciation requires a “choice” to risk annihilating the entire story of who you imagine yourself to be, by sanitizing the imagined source every concept you (or anyone else) ever conceived; the “I” that perceives itself to live, work and play in the concept of a body mind.


When we realize that it was never the object(s) within the story that needed to be renounced but instead the subject “I”, “me”, “mine”, “you”, “them”, “us” dichotomy; we can be in the story, but not of the story [we can be in the world, but not of the world].  Then we will experience the bliss of the universe as it is, not as we [ the “I”, ] imagined it to be.


When “we” are no longer standing in, or anchored to the reference point of an “I”, there will be nothing to fear, nothing to judge, nothing to grasp, nothing to influence.  There will be no status to gain, maintain or lose, it won’t matter what we know or do not know or how many years we’ve done or not done, this or that.  There is no taker AND there is no giver; the giving and the taking are one, and the one is all…


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