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Question: You’ve said your uncles are Buddhist monks. What are your thoughts on monks and monkhood in general?

Devean: The Monks are afraid, afraid of the world, afraid of pleasures, afraid of money. 

Anyone can go into a monastery far removed from reality and feel enlightened and weightless. 

If they come back into the world, their prayer, their meditation, their religion, their so-called enlightenment will all be ruined. 

Forget trying to be meditative in the monasteries, try to do it while working 9-5 in a bustling city, with people around you that bother you, bump into you, and upset you. 

This is reality.

Monks are cowards because they run away from Reality, and Reality is Truth. Their search for the Truth has led them in the complete opposite direction, they’ve created a whole world for themselves in their own minds, up in the mountains. 

Gandhi had 3 monkeys. One monkey sat with both his hands over his eyes, “It’s dangerous to look at too many things in life.” One monkey sat with both hands over his ears. “It’s dangerous to hear too many things in life.” The last monkey sat with both hands over his mouth. “Don’t say too much, it is dangerous.” 

The type of man that lives this way, once they come into the world, they will be disturbed. Their manufactured flow will be ruined. This isn’t natural, they are not living with Tao, they are not moving with the stream of the universe. They’re just monkeys.

We make heroes of the men that shave their heads and run off into the mountains as if they are doing some great deed. Psychologically we look at people that do extreme things as more devout, more divine, but this is not the case. They are merely socially accepted dropouts of life. 

There are monasteries that do not allow women because of the thoughts they might stir up in the monks. Imagine spiritual enlightenment so fickle that the sight of a woman can undo it all. 

And even worse they do it in the name of the Buddha! 

The Buddha would not have wanted it. 

The Buddha was a very rich prince before he left, with many palaces and anything he could ever want. When he left the palace they asked him why? Why leave such a beautiful place? He said that he didn’t see a palace anymore, he saw a great fire that would soon engulf everything, because nothing would ever last. 

The Buddha did not renounce the world, the world fell away from the Buddha, it simply didn’t have meaning to him anymore 

However, years later, once he was an enlightened man he went back. His wife, who he had left behind asked him: “Did you have to go into the jungles and the mountains to find this enlightenment?” 

The Buddha said, “No, I could’ve done it right here in this palace surrounded by all the riches, but at that time I didn’t know what it was that I needed to do.” 

That was 3000 years ago and still, we have monks trying to make their life more and more monotonous to attain enlightenment in isolation. 

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