Another Spring Break in San Diego has come and gone, again leaving me to ponder. There’s a bumper sticker that says, “The proof of intelligent life on other planets is that they haven’t tried to contact this one.”
If there is one interesting thing about living with a dozen monks in a monastery here in Pacific Beach, San Diego, it is that here you get to witness the colossal contrast between mindless sensual activity the American youth holds sacred and the discipline of a genuine spiritual tradition, which entails giving up meaningless sensual pleasure for something higher.
The students who come to this beach seem to worship the youthful human form. It’s like they see it as a vehicle that allows them to enjoy unlimited pleasures of life. Upon arrival, they become extremely excited about exploring and finding new ways to enjoy the various pleasures of the body. And if it gives them pleasure, why shouldn’t they? To each his own, right? BUT IS IT REALLY PLEASURE AT ALL? I MEAN, COME ON, ARE YOU PEOPLE SERIOUS?!
I don’t know, but I’m only 28, and although I had more than my share of partying, I just can’t see it like that anymore. It is not just that there is something completely annoying about having to pee every ten minutes, or the fact that people think that acting stupidly uninhibited is thought to be “cool”. It is the fact that we are attempting to create a scenario of false illusory pleasure and pretend that it is real. Sadly enough, for some this is even considered the very goal of their human life: “I will consume enough beer to loosen me up to the point of becoming free from my inhibitions, then stumble across a girl, and in the matter of three hours we’ll be making love in the back seat of a car at the end of the night. The best part is telling my friends the next day how I woke up in a pool of my own puke, and having them congratulate me on how great an enjoyer of life I am.”
This is a Foolish Idea
This Krishna Consciousness Movement wakes us up to perfect reality because it is constantly reminding us of the limitations of the human body. People will complain, “Why do you have to be so cynical? Why not let people find their own happiness?” This Krishna Consciousness movement is not trying to hamper anyone’s enjoyment, but the purpose is to give people a chance for superior enjoyment, lasting satisfaction of the heart.
“People feel that by getting drunk the boundaries of life will magically go away, leaving them feeling carefree. But escaping the prison of material suffering is not so simple.”
Actually, there is so much more going on on the spiritual platform. When we delve into the spiritual potency, life gets more exciting, but we are not talking about reading people’s minds or attaining psychic powers. Those are subtle material energies and also cannot help us solve the real problems of life.
People feel that by getting drunk the boundaries of life will magically go away, leaving them feeling carefree. But escaping the prison of material suffering is not so simple. Material life is actually full of stringent laws, such as birth, old age, disease, and death. In this way, life actually becomes progressively more miserable as time goes on.
So to bring that feeling of freedom, we take to intoxication. This is an artificial and extremely temporary solution. Basically, it means we are trying to forget that we are suffering. The more we artificially get high, the more we have to come down. Why play with artificial freedom? Why not develop inner fulfillment and experience the power of real freedom? In materialistic life, there is always a catch, but in Krishna Consciousness there is no catch or limitation because it is on the spiritual platform. On the spiritual platform we have the room for the expansion of pleasure we require.
Knowing that one is not the body is the first step in reaching a more elevated platform to expand our happiness. This knowledge is the essence of every spiritual path on the planet. We are not this body but rather a living spirit soul using the body simply like a vehicle, and when the body dies, the soul within it does not die. But all problems come when we forget this essential principle. Thus we become more and more eager to enjoy the sensual pleasures of the body. Pleasure is a real need of the soul, but the trick of illusion is that we can satisfy our spiritual needs with dull, dead material objects. Actually, the harder you try to squeeze happiness from the body and other material possessions, the more you increase your frustration.
Learning to be Real
As conditioned souls, we are forced to express ourselves and enjoy through the medium of the material body, which frustrates us with its limitations. The body is gradually getting old and becoming feeble. Who wants his or her body to become old and useless? No one. But bodily pleasures are fleeting and flickering, and as such anyone who pursues happiness outside of themselves, through the sensations of the body, is simply chasing a mirage in the desert. Happiness has to come from within, and no amount of alcohol or drugs will be enough to change the reality of the real problems of life. Yet, this society is encouraging us to enjoy this smelly body to its fullest extent, and like mindless drones we submit to the enticements of advertisements without even question where they are leading us.
No one will warn you that those materialistic pleasures are limited and frustrating. No one, that is, except this Krishna Consciousness movement. Here alone can you learn about perfect reality. This 16Rounds paper is for waking up all the sleeping souls, who are eternal, full of bliss, and knowledge but have forgotten. We have become bewildered by this gigantic material cosmic manifestation. Actually, we are all part of something great, something divine. We are all part of a magnificent spiritual origin. Every human life is an extremely valuable opportunity to realize the greatness of life and the greatness of God. This Krishna Consciousness movement can help awaken any human being to his or her highest potential, which is to experience happiness on the spiritual platform and achieve inner fulfillment. This movement is but an attempt to save people from a life of meaningless, self-gratifying, self-destructive activity in the pursuit of so-called “happiness.”