Individuals on a spiritual path eventually hear about the virtues of non-attachment and self-denial. Some teachings inform them that desire causes all pain and suffering, which obviously has an element of truth.
Once you become attached to your desires…you ride an endless cycle of alternating pleasure and pain…especially if you’re stuck in the Hive Mind Mentality. The Social Maze becomes a troublesome environment of failure and frustration…with a few minutes of pleasure sprinkled in.
Possibly, the person seeking spiritual enlightenment may conclude that renouncing the flesh and completely living the contemplative life is a viable solution to ending pain and suffering.
Yeah, that’s the answer. Make sure you practice self-denial…don’t upset the dull, repetitive workings of the Hive.
At least, you won’t cause any disturbances in the Social Maze. That ought to keep your tyrannical masters happy.
The fact of the matter is…
Nothing happens until something moves. You take action, and then more action…and I don’t mean action to strengthen the Hive Mind Mentality. You are seeking personal liberty and freedom…and self-actualization. Your goal is to Master the Social Maze.
The Illusion of Asceticism and Self-Denial
Obviously, most people don’t adopt a life of asceticism. However many renounce the many pleasures of the flesh…believing they will find the spiritual path of ecstasy and salvation. The controllers of the Hive Mind Mentality don’t care if you indulge in excess or adopt self-denial as a way of life. Either way, they own you. You’ve fallen for the ways of the Elite.. whether it is Hollywood, social altruism or religious fundamentalism.
The deluded individual thinks…
He has conquered the erring ways of the body…only to discover that his life spirals down into something less than it could be. Of course, self-denial forces him to justify his misery by rationalizing that the spiritual road calls itself enlightened suffering. You can bet his masters love that. It takes a Hive Mind Mentality to attach unnecessary pain to what could be a pleasant existence.
Sadly, these people live in a world of illusion. Incredibly, the deluded person trades one set of illusions for another set…not realizing he has sacrificed a higher value for a lower one. He relinquished what little happiness he had…for a life of sacrifice and self-denial.
Why would anyone do this? Why would someone accept emotional pain and suffering…believing he merrily strolls down the spiritual path? The reason is: self-denial and non-attachment keeps throwing him nasty curves and sliders, preventing him from seeing beyond the illusion of the Hive Mind Mentality.
Misunderstanding Renunciation and Non-Attachment
Practicing non-resistance, non-reaction and non-attachment can result in an individual transcending the slavery of the Hive. Unfortunately, the seeker may misunderstand these. Let’s try to gain some clarity on the issue.
In reality, most people are firmly attached to their negative emotions, which result in neurotic behavior. They become attached to people, things and circumstances that bring them much grief and misery. They live soap opera lives.
You can see it in unhappy marriages, abusive relationships, broken friendships, the work environment, the economic situation, terrorism, wars, etc. I could go on and on about negative emotions…and the neurotic and even psychotic behavior that cause unnecessary pain and suffering.
We can certainly understand why a man or woman wants to renounce the insanity he or she witnesses in his daily existence. Anyone on the verge of self-actualization wants to get the heck out of the Hive Mind Mentality. Unfortunately, the disillusioned individual desires to completely escape the Social Maze…instead of mastering it.
The errant seeker doesn’t realize that when he renounces the external world, he also throws away the pleasure and ecstasy it has to offer. Unwittingly, he embraces pain and suffering as if it were a welcome house guest.
In the book “7 Powerful Steps for Conquering Life’s Illusions” it is suggested that you “Visualize discovering the pleasure you deserve. Wouldn’t you love to become immune to the chaos and despair that pollutes the lives of too many people? Yes, you can live a life of personal fulfillment and success. You can enjoy life your way. You conquer your illusions.”
Discovering the Truth about Self-Actualization
Let’s cut to the core of the issue. The self-actualized individual – the Objectivist Warrior does not sink into self-denial. He happily transcends his misery. He captures the pleasures and ecstasies of life. In fact, the enlightened individual enjoys them to the max.
Here’s something you must understand. The Integrated Individual blends the pleasures of the body, mind and spirit. To some he might seem quite worldly…especially to those who allowed religious fundamentalists of the Hive Mind Mentality to brainwash them with the “Sins of the Flesh” illusions. After all, he supremely practices rational selfishness.
Let’s discover how the Integrated Individual lives.
The only thing he or she renounces is the negative emotions and faulty reasoning of the Hive…and the neurotic and psychotic behavior that results from their slavery.
The self-actualized individual – the Integrated Individual enjoys all life has to offer. He sips the finest wines or spirits, has ecstatic sexual relationships, creates value for value friendships, relishes the taste of good food, bathes in the delights of nature and soars to his favorite music, etc. In addition, he glorifies logic and reason. The Integrated Individual enjoys all his activities with passion and delight. He accomplishes this because he (she) indulges in independent thinking…and has cast away the influences of negative emotions and self-sacrifice.
He doesn’t allow his personal liberty and freedom to be restricted by attachments. If the enlightened one suffers a lost, he may freely weep tears of sadness and mourn for a while. However, you won’t catch him suffering years after the fact. He always returns to joyous living. An individual who has conquered many illusions…realizes his existence is much too important to wallow in pain and suffering. Even though an enlightened one experiences life as his highest value…he doesn’t allow himself to become neurotically attached to it. He believes in simplicity and of course, he understands his role as an independent entity.
He won’t overindulge in food, drink or other vices. Freedom from illusion means savoring the good things in life…but the Integrated Individual never goes beyond the point of diminishing returns. A rationally selfish individual does not become attached to destructive behaviors.
Life means experiencing pleasure and ecstasy, not self-denial. If an activity supplies you with pleasure…and adds to your quest for self-actualization…go for the gusto and relish it with love and passion. Just make sure you’re acting from rational selfishness.
If negative emotions plague you,…if you suffer from unrelenting guilt and fear…if external events make you feel anger or despair, don’t give up and renounce the world and its many pleasures. Discover an effective way to deal with your pain, suffering and frustrations. YES! You have all the power necessary to Master the Social Maze.
RA Meyer – Human Action in the Social Maze