Brave where We Are

Brave where We Are

June 7, 2018 0 By Tenzin Gyatso

On May 9, 2016 By cyclistmike

Our day and age is a desolate one. This is something we can easily fooled ourselves out of. If we look at technology, or modern convenience it appears we have solved life’s major problems. However the ability to microwave meals is not a solution to the worst of issues plaguing modern North American society.Additionally with the appearance of North American being so ‘advanced’ our problems, our social problems are in a large part flowing outwards to the rest of the world, as the rest of the ‘civilized world is struggling to match our materialistic superiority. This is what we project as Americans, we are rightfully proud of our accomplishments, but we grow lost in distant in hero worshipping ourselves. Indeed we have grown so lost in our accomplishments we have allowed our social advances to halt, and they are currently in a phase of stagnation. Television is taking precedence over social interaction, and our ability to be ‘linked in’ is trumping real life handshakes. Today, teens are chasing popularity, not just in classrooms and schools, but when they go home they continue the same competitive behavior, in the persuit of ‘likes and followers’ on social media.

We are missing the boat here, having likes or followers is not a bad thing, but often we will be nasty or disparage a certain social group in order to maintain power. In general our methods of maintaining control are heavy handed and unkind to at least one social group.

Stepping back into a broader view, there are more examples as to how our social system is flawed, and what we are not doing to resolve the issue. We need to look at what hits close to home. School shootings are a very serious and notable event, particularly since they are on the rise. We could distract ourselves from such a serious social issue, through indignation over other similarly serious events, but if we wish for our world to be better for our children, if we seriously wish for the future to be better we must examine the psychological situations that are attributing to our children being gunned down by peers in their classrooms.

This behavior is extremely sickening, and as I said, it is a very recent phenomena, a new trend. It is so new that we haven’t grown accustomed to the terrible aspects of it yet, but we are beginning to take for granted it’s horribleness – at least when it doesn’t happen to our children. There is no reason that anyone in any society should be so disenfranchised that they feel forced to resort to violence, and not just violence but killing to express themselves. Yet this is what our children are doing, and they are doing it to each other. Who are we as a society to have engendered such behavior in our progeny? And how can we be so stupid to ignore this symptom of a much larger issue?

The fact of the matter is we are speeding. We are intoxicated with so many new things and have yet to learn how to manage our minds in the midst of such beautiful illusory objects like smart phones and strip clubs. We are allowing ourselves to fall into the trap of illusion as a respite from the horribleness of the world – as a coping mechanism we busy our minds with exercise and various other intoxicants in a poor attempt of avoidance.

Yet even in this poor attempt to project resolution, we glorify our activities. Our Yoga, our CrossFit, our Painting, our God, or whatever other altar we worship at has become not so much a tool to educate us more about ourselves, but instead a means of attempting salvation, in the form of separation, from the whole mess. Unfortunately yoga is not going to save the world, nor Crossfit, nor will artistic self expression, or a Powerful Divinity reaching down from heaven.

We as humans have created this problem. It is a spiritual inheritance largely speaking. Our ancestors were no more enlightened than we were today, perhaps we could go back long enough to a fabled golden age where spiritual mastery was commonplace, but today we have clearly lost touch with such natural brilliance. However the sun has not set on Human Dignity. We are not incapable of slowing down and recognizing and feeling the horribleness of our day and age. Most of us are unwilling to, and would rather stay intoxicated in the world of the setting sun. Many of us are willing to fight tooth and nail until we and the ones we profess to love are reduced to bloody pulps before turning our gaze on said natural radiance, and more still would rather hide behind their idea of Divninity than confront how much hard work opening their eyes to the Natural(normal?) world seems to be. Our children shooting each other in schools are children imitating the behavior of the parents, individuals one could hardly describe as adults, yet these parents are non other than you or I.

We are extremely competitive, although we live in a land of great material abundance, we are focused on the preservation of our own wealth, and concerned solely with our own security. So concerned we are with our individual psychological preservation we miss the greater joy of sharing compassion with strangers, never mind with those we love. Even the basic idea of love has been twisted these days. We profess love to another human being, yet are unable to accept when our partner behaves in ways we do not like. We are unable to accept basic loneliness, of the fact that those we love are their own individual persons, and we selfishness try to make those we hold close manage themselves, rather than manage our own shittiness.

Even with the example of children shooting themselves and killing each other in schools, in their basic formulaic years, we are for a large part unwilling to confront such an issue as a symptom of such social endemic. We pretend that such incidents are isolated, and let our human brothers and sisters kill themselves before confronting that we are connected and part of the problem. We refuse to recognize that all the difference in the world starts with us, as we comment and gossip with each other into finding superficial agreement that such things are horrible, and leaving it there. We critique the world, but we don’t critique ourselves or professed loved ones, because we are afraid of losing our own security. We are afraid of having to go through all the work of finding new loved ones, of losing the comfy nest, or cocoon we have deftly woven to keep ourselves seemingly safe. We secretly pretend even that death will not come, that our cocoon is a solid object and will preserve us for the length of eternity. And with this is what we are fighting to protect, we are protecting our version of eternity, we may call it God, or Yoga, or our Art. Whatever we call it, We have solidified our activities with the secret pretense of separation, which we label liberation and hold it loftily, yet will fight tooth or nail creating psychological death rather than acknowledge our own pettiness and foolishness. Our level of personal growth in this world of hell could be described as how willing we are to hear critique of our own activities. It’s not about what we know, or have ‘realized’ None of that will result in a solution of our problems.

The only resolution possible comes through bravery and a willingness to create space to see our own seriousness, because we are rediculously serious at preserving our own ‘sacred’ way of life, and use all sorts of crafty tools in our attempts. We even say spiritually, that we have to be accepting of other people, and one of the last tricks we rely on, as we make a slow departure from the materialist world, is spiritual materialism. There is no length we will not go to preserve our own identity as an ‘enlightned’ identity, before we we drop our ‘entitlement’ of psychological peace.

It is humanly possible to leave such a horrible world behind, and the tools are evident, scattered about before us in plain sight, but we must be inspired, brave, and willing to feel pain. We must allow ourselves to be fools, materially materialistic, psychologically materialistic and spiritually materialistic. As we accept where we are in order to depart the stupid seriousness of the whole thing. We must learn to be kind to ourselves through the whole experience, just as we must be kind to others at the same time. We must be willing to tell others how we are cheating, even when it hurts us, and we must be willing to witness our own cheating when our heart in turn hurts. We cannot continue to put our pain on others, we must own it.