We live in a world of constant exposure to artificial and manipulated imagery, media broadcasts, the glare of computer screens, and ersatz sensory stimulation. Disconnected from inner sources of nourishment and inner inspiration, the insatiable desire for security and personal validation leads individuals on a vampiric bloodlust in search of money, prestige, power, and happiness.
The gratification must be quick or judged worthless. The reward must be instant or judged of no value. This results in the gradual weakening of the individual until a state of total dependence results. William Burroughs often referred to this as the “algebra of need”:
Well, by the ‘algebra of need’ I simply meant that, given certain known factors in an equation, and the equation compromising a situation of absolute need—any form of need—you can predict the results. Leave a sick junkie in the back room of a drugstore and only one result is possible. The same is true of anyone in a state of absolute hunger, absolute fear, etc. The more absolute the need, the more predictable the behavior becomes until it is mathematically certain.
The modern mind robbed of all sources of internal sustenance exists is a state of constant fear and insecurity which results in a state of absolute need. But what is the need? This is most often a manufactured need authored by an advertising agency who profits by fear of lack, fear of inadequacy, fear of anything. This can occur because of the Algebra of Need, the parasite of fear which feeds off humanity.
The essence of all Eastern teachings is the idea that we already have what we need, yet we are blind to this ultimate possession: the Soul. As a result of this ignorance, we incessantly chase after dreams and desires which are in reality not even our own dreams and desires!
This can only occur in an environment of fear and insecurity, an environment which allows the perpetuation of the Algebra of Need. The environment is a silent specter which both shapes and destroys, supports or suffocates. Acting as an ambient ocean of consciousness, the environment is a leveling force which much like Death constantly surrounds all from the cell to the forest.
The modern obsession is with one type of environment: the exterior one. We have become so enthused with a demonic ego-fueled delusional confidence to believe we alone control the fate of the environment. Man and his instruments of progress have become the sole acting force which holds the fate of the environment in balance. What else could be a factor?
This delusional mindset was not held by Eastern systems which instead of being possessed by the Abrahamic parasite of linear time viewed time in a circular expression; time rising and falling like the crest of a wave, sometimes bringing destruction, sometimes bringing nourishment and sustenance. The modern man believes only his actions control the world. This is a comforting thought as it supports the myth of safety and control. However in reality, the only “environment” we can ultimately control is our own personal space.
This personal environment is the key foundation for any inner revolution to manifest. We can effectively control very few “environments” however the environments of the body, the mind and the social realm are three areas which must be mastered if one wishes to deeply stimulate the susurrations of the Soul and echo Its reverberations into the mundane realm. The physical body can function as a prison or an alchemical alembic depending upon one’s attention and dedication. A healthy and strong physical body is a powerful representation of the Soul in tantric systems and is a literal environment which can determine our state of mind as well as overall vitality.
How the state of our mind can affect our body is generally understood. (One is nervous and stressed and experiences nausea, sweating or palpitations, for example.) However it is often forgotten how the state of the physical body affects the mind! The landscape of the body shares a deep reciprocity with the landscape of the mind, each one cross-pollinating one another.
If one wishes to start a revolution of the mind, one must start with the physical body. The flesh and muscles are transformed by the heat of training and exercise pushing the mind into unknown territories of fear, uncertainty and growth. This is often why so many embrace apathy and sloth over daily engagement in physical activity. The fear of challenging the mind’s status quo is stronger than the desire for change and the individual remains locked in the prison of the somatic realm.
It’s very important to see physical training as a key element for inner revolution, one in which only the effort of the individual can truly be a catalyst for transformation. This physical environment can be polluted or nourished, all determined by daily choices of food and drink. Therefore it’s imperative for the physical environment to be addressed for personal transformation as this inevitably becomes the environment in which the mind will haunt and hunt. The quality of food, drink and sleep are the key factors which must first be addressed to cultivate a physical environment conducive to an inner revolution and no amount of magic pills or magic methods can overpower these three aspects of health.
For a physical revolution to occur, one must focus on quality food, quality liquids, and quality sleep. These three factors set the stage for sickness or vitality and are the skeleton upon which the flesh of training grows and transforms. These three factors also concurrently influence the environment of the mind and play key roles in the ability of the mind to stay focused, inspired, and calm.
Ayurvedic medicine views the factors of nutrition and sleep as key foundations for both constructing and balancing the mind. The modern mind exists in a constant state of chaos and anxiety and for an inner revolution to take hold, the individual must examine what is feeding / creating the mind and how the mind is allowed to find respite from the constant barrage of artificial stimulation. One must examine the sights and sounds which seep into the mind-space literally creating the “background noise” of the mind! Artificial input results in a mental environment existing in a constant maelstrom of anxiety and fear, which sets the stage for the ego to grow and parasitically defend the manufactured status quo preventing any true inner revolution from occurring. If one desires inner transformation and an inner revolution one must address the nutrition of the mind and seek solace away from the ersatz junk-food-images of the modern world.
The component of sleep is on all levels equal in importance with physical / mental nutrition and is the literally doorway to the gifts of inner Death and Resurrection! Each night we die, die to the worries and anxieties which plague the mind and latch onto the body in parasitic desperation. The physical and mental landscape become Golgotha and we must leave all behind and enter into the mystery of the void of sleep.
A particularly important idea within Eastern thought is that the dream state is no more important than the waking state and is just as delusional. Therefore the deep state of dreamless sleep, referred to as sushupti in Tantric terminology, is the true doorway to the transformative light of the Soul unto which the ego is offered as a combustive sacrifice unto the Solar current of the Soul. This nightly sacrifice in smashan [cremation ground] of the body / mind complex becomes the inner environment which burns away the residue of the manufactured and commodified!
Therefore the quality of sleep is paramount for the quality of the inner revolution. And the quality of the nutrition of the body / mind influence the quality of sleep, each factor being intimately related in a web of resonant influence.
How one eats, drinks and sleeps determines the outcome of the individual’s struggle against the onslaught of modern standardization and de-humanization; prize each factor as a weapon which must be respected and in harmonious working order.
The final environment which must be cultivated and protected for successful inner revolution is the social milieu. Who we frequently exchange connections with in thought, word and deed deeply affect the state of mind-space. Unfortunately, many friendships can be nothing more than vampiric in essence and should be cut away from the lives we are making, just as the surgeon cuts away the tumor.
Our daily social contacts and associations can support and inspire or drain and destroy; we must excise the tumors of social parasitism if we wish to truly catalyze an incendiary inner revolution. Every day we make a choice to nourish ourselves or feed others, and we must ruthlessly evaluate this process of social nutrition. Our social environment should be one which is protected, cultivated and celebrated.
I’m always shocked at people who obsessively discuss the topic of environmental destruction yet ignore their own personal environments: body, mind, and social milieu. These three environments if polluted will form cesspools of cancerous destruction even if the natural environment is thriving.
The earth moves on without care for human dreams and desires, and perhaps the fear of facing the inner environments of mind / body and the personal social environments is what fuels the modern obsession with modern environmentalism. There are few environments which man can truly control. One senses this on the highest mountain peak as one gasps for oxygen, or when one attempts to light a fire in the deepest recesses of the forest path.
Yet an opportunity for inner revolution remains, even in the darkness of the modern world. Now is the time to light the spark that will inflame and light the way for the inner struggle. Sharpen those weapons at your disposal — nutrition, sleep, your social environment, and physical training — for the great battle within.