Enlightenment doesn’t come cheap-wherever you choose to find it.
Just price out any yoga retreat, any spiritual ceremony, any festival or workshop. From $108 Lululemon pants to $350-650 priced Burning Man tickets to yoga retreats costing over $2500-‘finding yourself‘ costs a pretty penny.
And, intellectually, this is easy to reconcile. I mean-you have to spend your money on ‘something’ and what better cause than your own liberation?
But, what happens when it costs more than money? When the exact things you invest in to work towards enlightenment are themselves ethically defunct?
I guess it depends on your definition of ‘enlightenment’.
Asian religions compare it to ‘liberation‘-Christian ones to ‘revelation‘ but the Age of Enlightenment (the cultural revolution of intellectuals in 17th and 18th century Europe) originally defined it as: ‘full comprehension of a situation‘. The idea was ‘to promote thought, skepticism and intellectual interchange.’
What if in the process of reaching liberation or ‘comprehension’-of working towards your highest self- what if the places where you place your trust or money or even SOUL are doing bad things? Things that you know ain’t right.
For example, once you reconcile yourself to paying over $100 for a pair of yoga pants-to THEN find out those pants are made in Cambodia and who’s founder says shit like ‘breast cancer is due to ….cigarette smoking Power Women‘.-doesn’t that start to cost more than money? And, when you find out the yoga teacher who charged you thousands actually froze funding of employee benefits and required employees to ship his marijuana -isn’t the price too much?
What is the price to your soul?
To put your time and energy into an idea or a cause that you thought was in alignment with your belief system then to have it be based on a house of cards?
There is the practice of the yoga. While it attracts huge egos and charlatans it also gives you the bullshit radar and presence of mind to listen to your inner voice .
It also gives you the power of Durga to rise above apathy and status quo to demand MORE and to speak out when things ain’t right.
After all, isn’t your soul worth more than a pair of Lululemon pants?