Little Renunciation of Every Day
we men are breathing, eating, sleeping, going to work or study, and making
many things to earn a living. If we want to improve and live rightly and
in peace, and to get rid from the annoyance caused by social oppression,
we have to practice a daily little renunciation, and to learn the Lord’s
prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread”. It is not sufficient
to study the Teachings that explain the doctrine of Renunciation, to practice
ascetic exercises, to meditate as a rule, to recite prayers and to read
pious books; we need to renounce in a concrete way. No person eats outright
a lot of food although his table is well served, but he eats what his
body needs, each day a little. Likewise, nobody gets rid from psychic
chains that imprison him, but little by little, in a routine way, to satisfy
a freedom that his soul needs, until a moment when Renunciation becomes
an authentic and distinctive character.
Certain persons ever wish to win, to possess much money, two or three
cars, several houses and fields. Other individuals need to give, to leave
something each day, and to be free outside and within. The former ones
are chained to a longing for possessions; they live tormented and fearing
to be robbed, or to lose what they possess at the moment of death. The
latter live without fears; Renunciation is the path of their freedom.
By ignorance, men do not know how to live. Although the Great Masters
many times recommended “not accumulate” possessions (Jesus,
Buddha, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Paul of the Cross, and others),
religious, educational, economic and national corporations, and uneducated
masses go on to behave otherwise and do not give anything. Let us look
at Argentina, with its enormous production of food, and a multitude of
desperate individuals ransacking supermarkets, robbing by the streets,
blocking routes with violent pickets, and countless children begging everywhere.
A person giving with pleasure, with no motive at all, because he does
not fear the future or death, gets rid of what he has (time, affections,
good will, possessions) and does not worry. He knows that he does not
own all this at all, and gives back to the circuit of life what is of
all men. His soul expands through the universe on the bliss of liberty.
¿How to renounce?
Renunciation rationally; it is like reading and writing in the school,
and you practice it with will and heart. Those who make efforts to practice
significant exercises and who express unusual purposes, have no intentions
to renounce: they look for self-justification and say “I cannot
do anything more than this”. They feel that such purposes, emphatically
expressed, are Renunciation by themselves; so they repeat themselves tirelessly.
A perpetual student that fails year by year in his final examinations,
never can be a good or bad professional; promises do not lead anywhere.
Renunciation is a concrete reality, like to eat bread when you are hungry,
therefore your hunger calms down at once.
There are many ways of renunciation, as many as men that practice renunciation:
it is the life style of every one, individually. In the Book XXXV “Renunciation
in the World and in the Souls”, Chapter 2, Master Santiago Bovisio
offers several very simple examples:
· Intensifying silence as a habit of inactive action:
· Postponing business till later;
· Solving nothing when I feel enthusiastic or feel inspired:
· Reading newspapers after 3 or four days:
· Interrupting a person when he is relating to me something interesting,
but continuing later;
· Solving unpleasant problems that I dislike.
Chapter 7, “”Exercises to achieve action in Renunciation”,
reads, “He showed us his own method so that this active inactivity
may give the results of action in renunciation. He took the Vow of Silence
and practiced it with this method: he postpones for a while anything new
coming to his hands (letters, newspapers, news, books, and so on), which
his excited mind wants to explore and solve; this way he practices nonaction”.
Men practice unconsciously this method to solve problems by means nonaction.
How many times, after one sleeps, wakes up with the solution of a trouble
seemingly impossible to unravel. When you calm down the mind during the
night, you find the solution in the morning. Likewise, you may practice
it being yourself awake, as Master Santiago recommends, with a period
of waiting –voluntary inactivity– so that you may calm down
the excited mind that blocks a right response. If men practiced this active
nonaction in different moments of the day, they would have peace in the
bus, at their jobs, in their meetings with people by the street, when
they are buying in the supermarket, during the TV time, always. There
are infinite moments to practice renunciation and detachment. The reader
may try some experiences, and he will see spiritual results at once.
is the law of life, and this truth is proclaimed by incessant experiences
of men. Birth and death are paradigms that nobody was able to overcome,
but hardly to understand, accept and draw conclusions. We should practice
renunciation permanently so that our actions may be in harmony with birth
and good death, enjoying happiness offered by this way to live. Selfish,
covetous and miserly individuals that accumulate possessions unfairly,
and violent and oppressive people, are not and cannot be happy; they are
condemned to a bad death, here and in the hereafter. Today Humanity is
dominated by this mistaken and criminal system, and the results are exposed
in nations, groups and individuals: a slow and gradual destruction of
One may understand the Renunciation rationally, and 37 Master Santiago’s
Books published here teach Renunciation in thousand different ways, in
every form –active and passive, inner and outer, individual and
collective. But one should live Renunciation, or is nothing. And to live
it one has to practice it continuously, all days a little, like body food.
A man is in need of material bread and spiritual bread, at the same time.
And when one discovers the intimate secret of detachment, it is very easy
to remain at a distance from those things willing to stop us. It is to
expose oneself before oneself with a nature that does not adhere to things,
although it uses them, and refuses to be trapped by their fascination.
It is a very beautiful experience, living among men as if we were not
of the world.
By means of exercises of active nonaction, with so many examples in the
Teachings, the soul is capable to Renounce, moving the will, in order
to decide: “this not, for the time being”. As the time goes
by, these simple and direct exercises of active nonaction, are changing
the nature of the individual being that begins to live otherwise, egocentrically,
immune to shocks coming from the streets of the city. So one can walk
among multitudes in a perfect state of peace, like Gandhi, who during
the hardest moments of his liberating fight, mixed with people to pray.
In these tumultuous and final times of a civilization broken in pieces,
salvation starts from the peace of everyone, and although nations collapse
with mourning and weeping, our being will remain impassive and calm while
taking in ourselves the Gift of Renunciation.
frightened when they are told to give something and share their possessions
with others. With fury or cynicism they reject any invitation to renounce
in order to get free of human yokes that keep them in animal situation.
They collapse if are deprived of something on which they depend existentially.
If for some unusual phenomenon all TV transmissions were interrupted in
the world for indefinite time, half of Humanity would immediately perish
by despair and psychosis. In Argentina we have witnessed a similar phenomenon
with catastrophic effects in people of the middle class: the financial
“playpen”. Nobody died of hunger, but the majority fell ill
mentally, and still they are so: anguished, lost and alienated. People
are not interested in freedom, peace or social harmony; do not understand
or know what it is. For decades, people have been manipulated and degraded
to the condition of insatiable consumerists of food, sex, competitiveness
or whatever, if and when there are money benefits. They were degraded
to the lowest level. How to get out of the abyss?
Master Santiago’s Teachings explain Renunciation in the most diverse
aspects and under different disciplines. They are understood in human
History since the most remote times. Also they can be studied with concepts
of deep psychology, traditional philosophy, meditation and Holy Hymns.
One has to study the Teachings in order to understand the Way of Renunciation:
an offering ever brings happiness, and selfishness produces suffering.
The reader should test himself by practicing a daily offering with little
actions, those that are fit for his person, and check the results. It
is not indispensable to meditate in order to act; act directly. We do
not give examples because daily activities are proper. Renunciation is
in the world of everyone, at once, right now; the key to success is in
reserve, silence and discretion as to your actions. Any publicity annuls
the results. Moreover, this Renunciation taught by Master Santiago is
a strictly personal –not collective– matter. Later, as the
practitioner gets certain stability in actions of each day, then the effects
of serenity, self-possession and natural joy will come up spontaneously
from his person and he will behave properly with his neighbors.
The Teaching 4, Book XXXI, “The Good Way”, reads, “When
one starts a work, our first thought has to be of unselfish love, universal
fraternity and personal renunciation; our action will succeed and bear
abundant fruits however obstacles may be against this labor. One’s
thought is ever the leader, and the work will ever be the goal. An arrow
properly aimed will hit the target. Once you launched this arrow, who
can stop it?”.