Donating precious energy to others is what is overlooked way too often, especially on the so-called spiritual path, in my opinion.
Instead of looking deeply within and finding what is most alive in there (whatever that is), most human beings look outside…
…and a priori and without ever bothering to really examine what they say and do, follow some gurus, lamas, teachers, instructors.
And although the greatest spiritual masters in human history (Buddha, Krishna, Mohamed, Krishnamurti, Therion, Namkhai Norbu, Goraknath Mahasiddha, to quote a few, see below) have all said not to do that, a lot of human beings still meekly bow down to some authority.
Well, in my opinion, that’s just a phase in the process of growing up, nothing more. A little child does that, a real grown-up person doesn’t need to, does she/he.
Trying to fill in the bigger shoes is still growing up:
Buddha on personal responsibility
The famous Buddha quote “don’t follow me, don’t believe me blindly, etc…” that is floating around all over the internet is, of course, fake, and can be found in none of the available Buddhist Sutras.
This one, however, is not fake:
“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’
When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.”
Loosely paraphrasing the Kalama Sutra:
“Do not believe in anything (simply) because you have heard it; Do not believe in traditions, because they been handed down for many generations; Do not believe in anything, because it is spoken and rumored by many; Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books;
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
And to drive my point right in:
“You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way.”
There is no need to give to others (not even to gurus, lamas, teachers) that, which can not be given: responsibility and personal intimate effort.
And other great teachers and sacred texts also say as much:
Krishna on personal responsibility
In essence, the Gita recognizes individual liberty and leaves the ultimate choice in the hands of the seeker. Liberal and without prejudice, the Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna’s gift to humankind, to help us deal with the turbulence of life in as rational a manner as is humanly possible.
Sri Krishna, considered by millions and millions of Vaishnavas to be the one Supreme Personality of Godhead, goes all out and shares his wisdom about many many important things (the text we know now as Bhagavad Gita) and in the end, he says to Arjuna: do as you wish:
Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge.
Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.
There is no need to suppress personal nature:
Even a man of wisdom behaves according to his own nature.
Beings follow (their) nature. What can restraint do?
One’s own duty, though defective, is superior to another’s duty well-performed.
Death is better while engaged in one’s own duty; another’s duty is fraught with fear.
Clearly, Sri Krishna says here that it is better to follow your own path even if it leads to death than follow the path of others.
Quran on personal responsibility
“You began to say: Whence is this? Say: It is from yourselves.” [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 165]
Allah also tells us:
“Truly, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.” [Sûrah al-Anfâl: 53]
No one can do that (change what is within) apart from ourselves, not even Allah/God (if you believe in God), so why seek on the outside?
Jiddu Krishnamurti on personal responsibility
“Responsibility has quite a different meaning when there is freedom. Responsibility does not deny freedom, they go together. When there is the deep fundamental reality of freedom, responsibility is concerned with the whole of life and not with one fragment of life; it is concerned with the whole movement and not with some particular movement; it is concerned with the whole activity of the mind and the heart and not with one particular activity or direction.
Freedom is the total harmony in which responsibility is as natural as the flower in the field. That response is not induced or imposed; it is the natural outcome of freedom. Without responsibility, there is no freedom. To respond to every challenge out of freedom is responsibility. It is an inadequate response that is irresponsible. The mind that is dependent on attachment becomes irresponsible to the whole.”
(Book: The Whole Movement of Life Is Learning, CH. 66, Without responsibility, there is no freedom.)
To drive his point right in, here is a jackpot:
Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
Being the first Dzogchen master that openly taught in the West the highly secret and precious teachings of Great Perfection, Namkhai Norbu’s approach was open, real, down-to-earth, and non-dogmatic.
On many occasions, He stressed the importance of an individual over traditions and societies.
He obviously understood the need for individual development (a daring statement for a Tibetan, in my honest opinion):
“The truth is that a better society will only arise through the evolution of the individual. This is because society is made up of millions of individuals.
To count to a million, one has to start with number one, which means one has to start with the individual, the only real place one can actually begin to change something.
This doesn’t mean putting oneself first in an egotistical way, but rather it involves our coming to understand the condition of the whole of humanity through understanding our own experience.
With this experience as our guide, we will know how to behave with awareness in any circumstance in every type of society.”
Thelema, the system of spiritual practices brought forth by Master Therion, is very articulate about the individuality and personal and transpersonal liberty.
He uttered many important things, this being appropriate for the subject under discussion:
“It is necessary that we stop, once for all, this ignorant meddling with other people’s business. Each individual must be left free to follow his own path.”
Mahavatar Babaji on personal responsibility
“I am against non-violence that makes a human being a coward. Fight for Truth! To face life, you must have great courage every day!
Everyone must be courageous, facing the difficulties of life with bravery! Cowardly people are like dead people!
I want a world of brave and courageous people.
Indeed, those who work hard and are agnostics are more acceptable, for a time, than lazy spiritual hypocrites.
Through hard work, you can do what even God cannot! Through hard work, you can change the Nature itself!”
As challenging as these words might sound, the immortal Goraknath here hits the nail straight on, doesn’t He. It is so easy to be “spiritual” and “non-violent” when in truth we are only being silly, passive, childish, and irresponsible and waiting for something to change or happen while nothing ever does. It cannot unless we instigate things.
And we can do it! It is as simple as that; we are all perfectly capable of finding out the Truth for ourselves, no need to blindly follow others.
Still growing up
To donate life and awareness energy to others means to not follow our own Heart. It also means that no real responsibility is being assumed which in turn means that no real progress can be made (because inner personal content of awareness is being ignored or/and suppressed).
In (my) reality, there is no need to do that whatsoever. Personal is not in conflict with the transpersonal. Mahamudra is not some trance devoid of the aliveness of everyday life. Mahamudra is what it is, both personal and transpersonal, and beyond them both.
– Whom do you donate your life and awareness energy to?
– And while you are doing that, who is taking care of YOUR inner needs and YOUR inner tendencies?