On Pac-Man and Making Room for the Light

Which is more devastating? For it never to occur to someone to examine their beliefs, or for them to willfully choose ignorance?

I’ve got this new thing for sitting on the toilet and playing Pac-Man on my phone…

We’ll leave hygiene out of the discussion…

Somehow, the two things, games and poops, fit nicely together – like a full mind-body excretion process.

While on the toilet, with nothing better to do then letting my mind wander to things I spend too much time on already, I’d rather just use the moment for meditation. Of course, I live in an ashram, so it would be totally kosher to dwell on the divine at this time… but since I’m not at that particular stage in my romance with the Lord, I have chosen another option. As a means to force all thoughts from my mind, in a totally non-spiritual manner, I pick up the game and let the hero have his way with the ghosts.

At the same time that I am emptying my mind, I am also emptying my bowels. I stave off worldly thoughts, while getting rid of toxic substances. This is what you call some real Seeker’s Dungeon spirituality, right here.

It’s not ignorant if you know what you’re doing.

When we choose ignorance, it’s like, as Amma would say, pretending to be asleep. Making a choice for short-term happiness over long-term well-being is not the same thing as mindlessly doing whatever feels right. Instead of saying my mantra and growing closer to the Lord, I’m chilling out. This is my time. Every other moment in my day might be for service, but please don’t interfere with my toilet routine. In true ashram fashion, I will definitely be receiving calls about very important work during my toilet time from now on.

I called out the Lord, and the Lord always responds…

Is choosing ignorance better than just being ignorant.

By now, everyone is aware that there is a criminal in the white house. Some choose not to acknowledge it because they want to keep their grip on power. The politician is more concerned with getting their agenda done, and the voter is more concerned with someone who is willing to act on their particular “values” than to care about who or how bad that person may be. Many just feel a connection to him and his dictatorial style, and take any argument against him as a personal attack on their own dignity.

Is it fair to go on saying that Trump supporters are just uneducated, white men? Trump couldn’t have gotten elected with only that demographic. What people are really trying to say is that Trump supporters are ignorant. The statement that not having a college degree makes you stupid is in and of itself the heights of elitism, but regardless, it is not stupidity that is causing his people to cling to him. They may be power hungry or they may just be racists, but they’re certainly not stupid. They know exactly what they’re doing. Sure, you have to have some fundamental ignorance to be a racist, but most of the world tends to be fundamentally ignorant on things they’d rather not examine. Most of the world chooses to remain ignorant on the causes that define them.

It’s easier to go along than be head strong. And it’s easier to be head strong as a group than to go it alone. If meditating on our ideals will be the cause of us falling into isolation, we’d rather not introspect at all. We’d rather not only choose, but embrace ignorance. The need to be a part of something is part and parcel of the human condition. We outcast those who don’t fit in.

Choosing to turn a blind eye to illogical rhetoric is not just a part of the political playing field. If we look at our own religious beliefs, we find that most people don’t examine their own convictions. Most just accept, on completely blind faith, the righteousness of their own, local religious teachings. How else can we explain that people don’t only believe that those of other religions are destined to eternal damnation, but also that those of the same religion but differing denominations are not going to make it? We all want to be the chosen ones, even if that means that the rest of humanity is left to suffer.

How many religious fanatics have actually had spiritual experiences? Spiritual awakening tends toward opening the heart, not closing it. Unfortunately, after getting a taste of spiritual bliss, we quickly close up and believe that it is because our local denomination got it right, dismissing the spiritual experiences of brothers and sisters in other communities and cultures.

But we’ll always take immediate mental security, over ultimate spiritual glory. Glory is a long, arduous process of becoming more than our petty likes and dislikes that we identify with. We have to learn to give up our small worldly self and embrace an identity that encompasses, not only all of humanity, but all of creation.

It’s easier to live in a world of black and white, than to play with all the colors of our imagination. It is more comfortable to get lost in my family, my religion, my race, my country, over the possibility that someone else’s experiences are as fundamentally valid as our own.

Alas, we take ourselves very seriously. Maybe we all need to find some kind of full body-mind excretion process to relax. I’m old school, so Pac-Man works for me. When all else fails, remember, the toilet is a great place to hide when you need a little time to yourself.

But, when you step off of the throne, be ready for battle.

Whatever we choose to believe, let us be sincere in those beliefs after examining our own motivations for choosing them.

About the author

I am a King without a Kingdom, in a world with many masters, wrapped in the spoils of a jealous heart, and my people’s callous laughter.


  1. Welcome back to the blogosphere. As always, I love your mixture of humor with thought provoking seriousness. Excellent post. (I didn’t know Pac Man was still available.)

  2. Love this post and seeing somebody admit publicly that they play games on their phone while doing their business on the throne. For me, it has become a refuge while I’m at work. I’ll leave it at that. 😉

  3. So proud of this post! Like Spike Lee, your urge to all of us to “wake up” is profoundly important! Thank you Sreejit!

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