Friday, June 4, 2010

Veil

“It should be clear that telling the truth to another person has little meaning until we first remove this veil of self-deception. It is ourselves we have deceived, and it is ourselves to whom we must first be true.” – John McAfee

Hiding in a cave does not mean one found “enlightenment” or is even in the process of doing so. Maybe he actually fears taking his blinders off, or maybe he can only keep them off if he doesn’t have to be faced with any potential ugliness. Not only does he ignore the world as it is, but he ignores his world as it is – he creates a cave in his mind. Behind thick rock walls he can hide from his violence, his lies, his lust, his greed, his jealousy…from his human reality. Is that strength, or discipline, or equanimity? I doubt it. Remaining on even keel in spite of the world around you – or better yet, doing so while simply being part of the world around you – seems stronger than retreating from the darkness that exists within the light outside, and then shouting advice to all of us “unenlightened” people who choose to stay out.

We can’t will anything into existence. This includes so-called “right” in opposition to “wrong”. Likewise, it hardly counts to will life away in order to be “right” or a “real” yogi. In trying to force change, to force enlightenment, to strangle the things you think shouldn’t exist within you, you are behaving in as ego-rooted a way as the next heathen or complete idiot or whoever. In short, you deceive yourself when you shut out life in the name of some ideal…an ideal you won’t reach through shutting down, anyway. You might lie to yourself enough and believe you’ve reached it, but some part of you will be out of balance. Off-natural. And that isn’t really yoga.

How you deal with the things that are truly, fully, messily part of really living defines your spirituality, and I think spirituality is simply a way of walking the Path (a.k.a. life) without the blinders and without the huge stick up your ass. “Wrong” or the things we label “wrong” seem more like a symptom, at worst, and we never solve anything by only eliminating (or more likely, covering up) the symptom. The sickness remains, maybe becoming fatal or perverted. We become chronically crippled and call it saved. Be really honest. It’s not the sex or the ice cream or the violence or the emotion making you less “yogic” or “spiritual” or whatever you like to call it. Try looking for the actual disease instead of the symptom.

Anyone, most likely, can hide in their personal cave and ignore life and start hearing the voice of God. When you start to see God in the gutter with the trash, then you’re on to something. When you stop needing to define God, you are getting even closer. When you stop needing to define and sanction and compartmentalize every little thing into mind-numbing, tiny, insignificant, stupid bits and pieces, then you’re really deep. Humans, all on their own, created the concept of opposition, of versus, of disharmony. None of that exists in nature, and nature doesn’t bothering agonizing over the fact that it isn’t agonizing. “Is that wrong?!?!?” We cause ourselves all this grief through division.

Can I say that real presence is not dividing things? Distraction is only distraction because you labeled it thus and now you believe it. You only see hours of meditation and fasting and lifetimes without love and pretending you’re not an animal as better because you labeled it “better” and so you believe it. Division. Problematic bullshit and you created it. You create your disharmony and unhappiness. Maybe being a fanatical loon and humming mantras constantly to attempt to drown out the traffic isn’t helping. Maybe people need to stop dividing themselves from what they just are, stop dividing themselves from their animal natures, stop believing that they must do what Sri So-And-So said at all costs, stop not being real, and maybe unity – yoga (insert choirs of angels here) – comes. Naturally.

Stop trying so damn hard to swim upstream and be a useless hero. Let go and let the power of the flow just take you where you want to go and make you everything you’ll ever be anyway. Slow down and do exactly what you’re feeling, and things will be different. And I’m not talking just laying around and hugging trees all day when I say “slow down”. Slowing down mentally, physically, and otherwise forces you to think, first of all, and thus forces you to get to know the concept of intention, which forces you to use power over momentum. Forcing you, essentially, to tap into a lot of stuff you ignore or think you don’t possess.

Uncomfortable? Probably, at least on occasion. But it’s so much faster then running in circles for years and decades doing that pretending-to-be-okay-and-harmonious-when-I’m-really-not-and-I-don’t-know-why thing in your little cave.

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