Instinctual Drive to Know God

Satsang on April 14th, 2014

In terms of Dharma we understand that with the Id we have the instinctual drive of survival and sexuality and death.  We also have the instinctual drive to know God.  This is just the program that we have.  So when we look at the spiritual practice, or better yet what in Yogic terms we call Sanatana Dharma (the natural way of living that leads to liberation), we are creating a way to develop, inspire, and nurture the instinctual drive to liberation (or, in Hebrew, Shevekut D’vekut).  That’s the primary “id drive” and program of all humanity. The key is to live in a way that activates this “primordial id” drive to know God.

Now for most people that button has not been pressed and they are more or less dealing with instinctive sex, instinctive eating, and the death urge, which includes the urge for the dark side.  These are all forces going on within us.  While spiritual life within some of the traditions is focused on repressing the primordial instincts (sexuality, death, eating, etc…) our Dharma is really about transforming these instincts rather than suppressing them.  More importantly is the activation of the instinctual program for the Divine, which everyone has.  Yet in our world this tends to get buried rather than activated.

The dharmic question, which includes both dharmas (1. right livelihood or dharmic action and 2. the Dharma to know God) is really tied up in designing, creating, and living a sanatana dharma (or spiritual path) that enhances the primordial instinct to know God but also begins to transform the other primordial instincts into a higher octave.  In the Yogic system we have the idea of tantra, which is activating your experience of God in holiness in all situations.  In America we reduce it down to the sexual but truly in terms of Kashmir Shivaism it is a bigger picture (experiencing God in all situations and relating to all situations as the play of God for our evolution).  Using that model a little bit we can begin to see how we can get the right angle or attitude on the situation to see all situations and turn them into more general tantric situations.  Again this is not solely sexual (however it does include the sexual).

In the Taharat HaMishpacha, the Jewish laws regarding family purity, the sexuality is such that on Shabbat one is elevating the sexual act onto the higher planes.  We take that sexuality and elevate it into spiritual practice.  When we begin to reframe the instincts instead of futilely attempting to suppress them.

The idea is how do we elevate those base instincts into higher ways of being?  How do we go from eating simply for the illusion of health or strength (such as with the meat-based instinctive diet) to a spiritual nutrition (vegan) lifestyle, that elevates the whole web of life (rather than kills part of the web of life with the illusion of getting the more basic nutrition).  What are you doing when you are eating the blood?  You are moving your instincts towards vulnerability to demonic energies and to the energies of death.

When we begin to alter our diet away from death and tuma and into life and tahara things really start to change.  We begin this refinement in our diet and in our way of life.  This is a very different way of thinking about diet and of thinking about sex.  It is a different way of thinking about who we are primordially.  Usually the image of humans is a little bit evil, for example the teaching of “the original sin”.  Those are an entire worldview of how we look at ourselves, rather than acknowledging, “Wow, what we have is an original program to know God.  How do we activate, support, and help that program to unfold.  Along the same lines how do we elevate all of our instinctual energies that are all bringing us to the knowing of God?”  So the highest Dharma is being able to transform (rather than to suppress or master) those deep primordial energies in a way that supports the primary instinctive and directive of all of humanity – to know God.

May everybody be blessed with this great primordial Dharma.  Amen.