I think I have a spiritual streak in me. I want to live as a renunciate, but I am equally scared, what will I do with my life after giving up everything else?
First, give up this thought that you can embrace renunciation by decision. Renunciation isn’t a decision. In fact, renunciation cannot be a decision.
Renunciation isn’t a decision. In fact, renunciation cannot be a decision.
You actually grow into it. The egg does not decide to become a chicken… it grows into a chicken. We see the shell falling apart and the chicken emerging. We see only one moment, but the defining moment is the culmination of a series of momentary growths. So is renunciation. Renunciation is not what you think, for that matter not what most of the world thinks, a give up. You give up nothing. It is the immature mind that says, ‘He renounced his sleep to embrace exercise’.
It is the immature mind that says, ‘He renounced his sleep to embrace exercise’.
In reality, when his attachment for health becomes greater than his attachment for sleep, he gives up a lower attachment in order to embrace a higher attachment. Renunciation is not a give up… it is a go up. Renunciation is metaphorically similar to a man climbing a ladder. He steps off the lower rungs of the ladder because of his inclination to step into the higher rungs. He is not giving up the lower rungs. He is, as a matter of fact, going up the higher rung.
Simply put, at every given instant, life offers you the choice between the lower and the higher in every aspect of life. Use your intelligence to discriminate the lower from the higher and now wholeheartedly desire the higher. Like the child who automatically outgrows his attachment for the existing toy to a more exciting, new toy, your inner being will evolve to renounce the lower and embrace the higher. Then, life will never be a give up for you but a never-ending sequence of go ups.
Start from where you can start. Desire health… desire self-mastery… desire willpower… desire progressive attitude… desire them all so much so that you outgrow all the self-created hurdles that are preventing you from achieving what you want. Even this is renunciation. The more and more you discriminate between the lower and the higher and embrace the higher… your life will graduate into a state of selflessness. You will begin to think beyond yourself. It is not that you won’t have goals anymore, but your goals will be more in the larger interest rather than being merely self-centred. This very progression is spiritual evolution… the spiritual realm is not at the other end of the materialistic realm… the egg and chicken are not at opposite ends but are a natural progression. So, renunciation isn’t a destination, but a path to the higher…