You can always trust an eating gorilla. Having found his food, he has put aside all effort and concern for survival. He has surrendered his eccentricities, his obsessive urges, and the tension in his most characteristic qualities. He has become submissive to the ordinary motive and desire that is real hunger since he is now certain of its satisfaction. He is essentially benign, playful, even love-able. He is simply eating. And he trusts any others who may be present or who approach, as long as there is sufficient food and they also stop to eat it. The eating gorilla perceives in any other one who is eating a similar surrender to ordinary life, to the natural state and order of existence. While eating, he stands out-side all conflicts in which survival is at stake.
The gorilla’s natural home is also a wilderness of food. To visit is to eat. To eat and to live in peace are the same. The primal ceremony of all who live is the meal. It is the incident wherein the true or benign principle of politics is realized, and it is also at the table that meditation begins.
In our human world, the ‘gorilla’ is not at peace. Food is in doubt. Eating is no ordinary affair of hunger and assured satisfaction. The ceremonies of our food are rarely free of conflict. Trust, love, peace, and meditation, the essence of the plainest fare when we are in our natural ease, are now a rare occasion, a private matter, for the gourmets and ascetics who populate our human table.
Our ability to Realize the Eternal Source and Present Bliss depends on our responsibility for hunger and food, trust and love, work and sex, time and space, life, and death.
We are mad then, you see. We are not like the eating gorilla. The eating gorilla finds a cabbage in the jungle, sits down like a slob and munches away at the cabbage, and is completely benign, completely peaceful. There is nothing threatening about this gorilla, nothing dangerous about him. He is not eating anything killed that has an independent consciousness in the ordinary sense. He is just eating cabbages, vegetables. If some other gorilla or another being comes near, he still has his food. He is connected to the food source. He is not disturbed as long as that creature will show that he is also eating. The eating gorilla is peaceful.
Therefore, the eating gorilla is the image of the true man, the true woman. He demonstrates the principle of true politics, of real human existence, in which we are always presently connected to the Food Source in Truth, and are always presuming connection, relationship, ” I love you”. But the gorilla in the desert, or the conventional man, is cut off from his food source through the presumptive recognition of his separate existence, of his mortality. He feels unloved. He is a dangerous beast. He is in conflict with himself, struggling, looking for a way to be permanently sustained.
We are obliged to be the heart in relations, to be responsible, as radiant feeling attention, for all the things above and below the heart, to make mind and body, attention and action, heaven and earth a felt sacrifice to Infinity. If we live this way we can live a happy and loving and healthy life, an essentially vital life. Although there may be limitations that come upon us through the environmental and human factors around us, essentially we can be the masters of our circumstances, at least in our private lives. – Adi Da Samraj