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The ego uses both sex and meditation as an escape || Acharya Prashant, on J. Krishnamurti (2017)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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“Love is a state in which there is no ‘me’, love is a state in which there is no condemnation, no saying that sex is right or wrong, that this is good and something else is bad. Love is none of these contradictory things. Contradiction does not exist in love.”

~ J. Krishnamurti

Questioner: Krishnamurti says that one craves sex because in that one finds no ‘me’—ego, and hence no conflict, and one uses it as an escape. So, why does one then not use meditation too as an escape? Is it because one lacks understanding energy? Or is it because the outside influences and inherent tendencies—acquired and biological—are too strong? Does this call for an inner strength stronger than the outer influences? How would one describe this inner strength in words, if it exists?

Acharya Prashant: So, the basis of the question is that one probably does not use meditation as an escape. But one does use meditation as an escape. One uses everything as an escape. One uses meditation in precisely the same way as one uses sex or any other means of getting away. Of course, Krishnamurti is spot on when he says that in the experience of sex, there is no ‘me’, no ego, and hence no conflict; so, there is a great peace, a silence, a touch of the beyond. That peace, that silence, that touch of the beyond is one’s ultimate desire.

But is one ready to go beyond the touch? The ego is so afraid and so stupid that it is terrified of the one it loves. That it wants to run away from the same healing touch that it so craves for. One will have a little of it; one does not want the whole of it. A little of it ensures continuity of the ego. A little of it implies that one could have the healing touch, and yet remain what one is, yet continue with one’s ways. That much is acceptable to the ego. But only that much, not beyond that.

The ego says that my first priority is to remain, exist, and after that comes everything else. Even the Truth must be subservient to my first priority. So, liberation is alright as long as it is a second of liberation. Peace is alright as long as it is five minutes of peace. But if silence threatens to take over the entire life, if peace starts dominating noise to the extent that the noise might be completely annihilated, then the ego rejects. The ego wants Truth, but only a modicum of Truth. The ego wants peace, but only a sliver of peace.

The ego is foolish. Its first priority is always its own sustenance. So, when the ego will enter meditation, it will enter false meditation, it will enter limited meditation. People meditate for five minutes. People set a particular time to meditate.

I would ask professional meditators—people who have been practicing since long—I would ask them, if you love meditation so much, why do you get up from it? If you love meditation so much, why do you limit it only to half an hour of the morning time? Why don’t you let meditation become your entire life? Why can’t you live meditatively? They would not have an answer. But the answer is clear.

The answer is—if you start living meditatively rather than just limiting, isolating, relegating meditation to a corner of your daily schedule, then your daily schedule itself would be threatened. You do not want to allow that. The ego does not want to allow that. The ego says, “Meditation is good as long as it is for half an hour, then it will serve my ends. I can become a little peaceful, mind you, just a little peaceful. I can become a little peaceful and then go about doing my usual daily tasks. Even if meditation has to be there, it has to be there as a servant of my daily priorities.”

“I want to go to the same office and continue with the same humdrum business. And to be more effective in the same humdrum business, and to perform more efficiently in the same office, I want to be meditative. I will not let meditation overpower me. I will not let meditation become a canopy over the space of my life. I will not let meditation become a complete solution that dissolves me away. I will use meditation as a tool. I will use meditation as a tool to remain more of what I anyway and already am.” That is how the mind uses meditation. That is how the mind uses sex. That is how the mind uses Truth and god.

Because you are disturbed, dull, restless after the entire day’s soul-sapping routine, in the night you use sex as an entertainment, as a relief, as a getaway. Using sex as a relief enables you to wake up the next morning and again continue with your routine, and then again return to the bed in the night, again use sex as a dissipator, again use sex as a temporary healer, and then again go back to the same shop, same work, same office, same society, same people, same routine that disturb you. Sex, meditation, prayer, god, in that sense all of them just are used by the ego as enablers. They enable the ego to continue as it is.

One returns from his shop and then goes to the temple. Going to the temple enables one to return to his shop. One does what one does the entire day, and then in the evening one wants to atone. One goes and one confesses—it might be an evening or it might be a Sunday in the church—one goes and one confesses. Or one would write a letter of guilt, confession, admission to a teacher. One would say, “I wasted the entire day.” One would say, “I am a lousy man, an evil man.” And then all that confession in the evening enables one to conveniently again embark the next morning on the same beaten path. That is how we work. We exploit even the highest.

If a prophet would come to us, we would use him to serve our petty purposes. Don’t you see what people do when they go to holy places, to pilgrimage, to a dargah, to a guru? They go there and they ask about their little things. That is all the relationship that they have with the guru, or the pir , or the granth , or the temple, or the gurdwara.

Let everything exist to allow me, to even help me remain as rotten as I am—that is the worldview of the ego, that is how we look at the entire universe. Unfortunately, that is also how we look at the one beyond the universe. The ego is an exploitative being. The ego is a stupid being. It exploits the one it ought to surrender to. It goes to the ocean and asks only for two drops, and it thinks it is being quite clever in asking for as much as it can hold.

Can you look at the mind, the psychology of the person who has the entire ocean available in front of him, and is instead asking for only as much as his limitations would allow? Can you see that?

Sex is a window. Organized meditation too is a window. Every moment in life is a window. But the ego is scared of free, open, unlimited space. It would have only as much of the sky as the window would allow. That is why one is so agreeable to the five seconds of peace that orgasm brings, but one is not at all agreeable to samādhi ; because samādhi infinite peace.

One wants customized samādhi . One wants temporal samādhi . One wants samādhi that can be used and exploited. One wants samādhi that would not be a total and final dissolution. One wants samādhi that one can be on the top of. And that is why one never gets samādhi . That is why that which is so easily available, and one’s innate nature, remains elusive.

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