Pathetic is our Strength
By cyclistmike On May 9, 2016
Today’s conventional attitude towards insecurity is one of disgust. Insecurity is a weakness, something that should be overcome, or at the least overlooked. We are not interested in those that have insecurities, at least those that remind us of ourselves.
With this attitude towards insecurity we have a tendency to glorify those that are able to gloss over their insecurities. The best example is our choice of politicians. We could point to the Big-Names, however at almost every level we face the same issues. Namely, our politicians are masters at covering their insecure foot-tracks.
Socially this is problematic, not necessarily problematic that our politicians are willing to be fools in order to pretend that they don’t have flaws, this is actually problematic because it’s a reflection of how we act in our everyday lives. It’s not that our politicians are necessarily fools, the issue is our own dogmatic adherence to convention – and convention in this case is viewing strength as the absence of weakness. This is a view we carry with us everywhere we go, blindly.
This conventional idea is rather flawed. It is not in line with the world as it is. Where the conventional idea falls short, is it’s failure to recognize insecurity as a driving feature in human behavior. We many pop out of the womb perfect human beings, but from that instant onwards we’re hit with a lot of energy that tells us we are not perfect, and we are more or less demanded to see ourselves as flawed and in need of help.
For most of us, the helpers, healers and kind hearted souls (politicians definitely included) we want to be perfect, we want to achieve the human perfection, we know exists. However we were told by school, convention, society, etc. that we shouldn’t be weak or insecure. And in congruence with the convention, we behave in two ways towards that convention. First we deny it(the existence of weakness of insecurity), and secretly try to work towards it, or second we identify with being weak and give up. These are the two conventional options. There is however a third way, going right through the middle.
This third option requires a great deal more skill and intelligence. It has also been said that it requires an example as guide. This middle way, exists in going right through you guessed it, the middle. It is the way of non-thought, which also could be said as non-identification, but with recognition. You see the two polarized (two thoughts) ways are 1. Identification with Strength and 2. Identification with Weakness. This is like seeing the world as a T/F test, you’re either right or wrong. However the world just is and as it is we have the middle way as acceptance of both of those ‘thoughts’ yet not either thought to dominate the consciousness. This is the acceptance of both polarities.
What is, is the same as saying ‘that which exists’. Observing the big picture we see that we conventionally identify with external principles out of internal insecurity. Obviously, most people find it much easier to live by the rules written in a book, be it of law or spirit, than to dive into our individual consciousness and find the inner rules written upon the soul. Therefore, out of our individual insecurity, we take the conventional rules and apply them, and fail to recognize that such conventional rules, actually grew out of an internal set of inner-soul rules, many, many years ago.
So in passing conventional rules on we are actually passing on fear and insecurity in a clandestine fashion. We’re actually passing on non-trust, and secret insecurity, as opposed to the inner soul wisdom. This happens when we value the convention over inner wisdom.
The third way is the way of inner wisdom. This way recognizes the existence of insecurity, and rather than stamping it our as weakness, through training, the adherents of the middle way learn how to work with insecurity, and if proper effort is applied, what once was viewed through a conventional lens as weakness, is transmuted into personal strength. This is inner work, and can be found in greater detail in the study of Buddhism, particularly in the Mahayana Path, of the Middle Way.
If there are any doubts of confusions as this point, one must make an effort to examine the individual psyche. Within this study we may examine the point of this chapter, as the expression of internal aversion towards that which we perceive as weak or insecure. Such aversion is the living example of our tendency to put honorifics on those that triumph over frailty. Within such behavior, we are not only casting aside our doubts, we are rolling over the tremendous amount of bravery it requires to express tenderness.
The tenderness, which is commonly mistaken as insecurity, is the host of the middle way. It hold both sides in it’s arms. Both sides in any human case, are, after all human. This is something the adherents to any side in an argument often fail to see out of their insecurity. As a human ourselves, we cannot truly triumph over human, we cannot win victory over another until we triumph over ourselves, inner work is necessary. We must open ourselves up, we must find value in the human heart. This is of the utmost importance. Today, we are witnessing this, happening on the broadest scale we ever seen. This is the heart of yoga.
Meditation, the art of learning how to witness our own human heart. Yoga, the practice of unifying the body with the divine. These are both growing practices, that supposedly honor the opening of the human heart. However at this time, being so conditioned by convention, we are not as yet truly practicing yoga, at its highest potential. The teachers we have become attracted to are not particularly deep, and for the most case are unable to be genuine examples of self transcendence. This oddly enough is because to expose the heart, to expose our weaknesses to the world, makes most people, cringe, pathetic! Generally speaking we’re not quite ready to really see a naked human heart. We’re not there yet, we still want shiny transcended examples, of which many individuals are happy to emulate, and provide us today.
This leaves us with a void in our example of teachers, who by following the conventional way, supporting themselves financially, combining business with guru-ship, are also following the feedback of a conventionally society. This feedback loop limits authenticity, as any one who would shake up the system, or anyone that starts to shake the conventional social system is consequently paid less, and given less attention.
This is not all doom and gloom, not by any means. This is just what is and consequently is not something that will always be. These teachers, as human individuals themselves have the knowings in their heart in regards to what they are doing. However they are trapped by their actions. Yet they are not so trapped, because they have the ability to say the words of enlightenment, and more or less to serve as examples. All teachers, monks and priests are a beacon of hope towards what is, what they are attempting to embody.
Returning now to the blooming of the next age of enlightenment, the fact that we are practicing and studying, meditation and yoga, even if we are not yet doing it ‘correctly’ means we are on the right path. Only a fool expects the instant enlightenment, and we must also apply that wisdom to our society, and sangha.
As we must wish in our hearts to be vehicles of the coming age of enlightenment, we must practice accordingly. Even as we share, what we are doing right with our students, we must also bravely share what we are doing wrong, and our sense of humor and appreciation of our own foolishness. If we become lulled into pretending to be prefect teachers, we fail to embody the wisdom of applying wisdom to the path of the human existence. Therefore we must continue to witness our own insecurities, allow them to be pointed out by others, (you’re so kind) and not squirm as we recognize that it’s not the human being across from us that’s necessarily telling us we’re horrible human beings, the entity telling us we’re less than perfect is just a ghost of the past, that’s told that person they are less than perfect, and we’re only hearing a reflection of failure to notice that ghost, over several hundred generations. They may try and make us feel responsible however. No one is to blame.
Through our kindness we can tame those ghosts, and continue to offer our beautiful hearts to those along the way. Lord knows, we all need more love. This is the practice.