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My commune is a totally different phenomenon. It is neither an ashrama, modern or ancient, nor a monastery, Christian or Mohammedan. My commune is, in the first place, non-ascetic.
It basically tries to destroy all psychological sicknesses in you ― in which sado-masochist ideas are included. It teaches you to be healthy and not to feel guilty for being healthy. It teaches you to be human, because my experience is that people who have been trying to be divine have not become divine, but have fallen far lower than humans. They were trying to go up beyond humanity ― yes, they have gone beyond humanity, but below it.
In the monasteries, people are almost animals, because the more you torture yourself, the more you start losing your intelligence; intelligence needs comfort. Intelligence is a very delicate flower. Don´t try to grow roses in the desert. Intelligence is a very delicate flower. It grows in luxury. It needs a luxurious ground, fertile, creative, full of juice; only then can it blossom. And without intelligence, what are you?
My effort is first to help your intelligence become a flame, and to help that flame to consume all that is not your authentic self. You become a fire and you burn everything that is rubbish, thrown by others onto you.
So first intelligence, and second meditation. Meditation comes out of intelligence ― burning all crap from your being. Then you are pure, alone, just the way existence wants you to be.
From Personality to Individuality, chapter 5