Thursday, April 15, 2004

Divine Intoxication

Divine Intoxication

I will try to write a very short entry today as I am pretty tired after spending the evening drinking with my friends at the Hyatt Saujana. Hence, what I write is not to be taken seriously.

I don't go out very often these days but I used to be very fond of frequenting pubs and other nightspots. I admire the enthusiasm of some of my friends who haunt these places almost every night. Nowadays whenever I go to a pub, I feel extremely glad that I have no desire to linger there anymore--the smoke and the crowd turn me off. There's also an air of superficial gaiety in such places that for some reason often plunge me into a melancholic mood.

American writer Norman Mailer--known for his hard-drinking habits in his youth--once said that one drinks to dissolve a sorrow. F. Scott Fitzgerald--another famous writer-boozer--had this to say about drinking: "First you take a drink, then the drink takes another drink and finally the drink takes you".

After a while, we forget what was the "sorrow" that led us to drink in first place. Drinking, like so many other things that are pleasurable, can easily become an addiction.

Omar Khayyyam celebrated the pleasures of wine in his Rubaiyat. Yogananda gave a spiritual interpretation of the Rubaiyat, where drunkenness is taken to be a metaphor for the intoxicating nature of the divine experience.

Perhaps there's a fine line separating drunkenness and spiritual ecstasy. What leads us to drink in first place is our natural yearning for spiritual release--to be freed from the limiting bonds of our mortal frame. Unfortunately this release is a temporary one. In the morning, we are cast back rudely to our earthly existence.

Time to sleep and return to earth.

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