Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in this streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache. It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.
~ Kahlil Gibran
Identification is involved, pain is involved, difficulty is involved, you are not just keeping something aside, you are keeping a part of you aside. That’s what he means when he says that to keep one’s longing away, one has to go through a lot of pain.
Why must there be so much pain involved in giving up of the unnecessary? In giving up the skin, in peeling off the skin. Someone said can’t we just do it as the snakes do it, easily, periodically, necessarily and involuntarily? Remember that snakes even after casting off their skins a hundred times still remains just snakes. It is this snakeness of the snake that ensures that the skin is periodically lost and renewed. How can something coming from snakeness reduce the snakeness?
Similarly, how can something arising from the wrong center do away with the wrong center? How can something arising from the ego, how can something which is part and parcel of the complex of ego, reduce the ego?
Therefore, there is no option. It cannot be involuntary. When you say involuntary, what you mean is conditioned. All things conditioned are involuntary. The snake is biologically conditioned, periodically give up its skin and get a new sack to put itself in. Now, that which is to be conditioned and that which is conditioned, will surely not get you freedom from your conditioning. Therefore, it has to be absolutely voluntary. Not only, it has to be voluntary, actually, but it also has to be a very determined action.
It requires not only your consent, but every bit of your force, your energy, your sap, your lifeblood. Even a yes won’t do, yes is merely of the mind and the tongue. You have to pay for your destruction. You don’t merely have to allow your destruction, you will have to pay for your destruction.
You will have to be doubly destructed. Once, when you pay everything that you have and are left with nothing and are thereby destroyed. And secondly, when having made the payment, destruction…