Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Thinks I Can Think


I still struggle with the need to do.  The need to accomplish.  Be productive. Be successful. Ok, let me be more succinct, more to the deep truth of what this is about. Full inhale. Low slow exhale. It is the need to validate my existence.  There I said it; I red it.

Now my yoga friends will chuckle when I add that yes I have shone the light of awareness on this, I believe, very common issue. However, there is still the niggling of doubt, a lack of self confidence and self awareness. Now, I need to be fair to that aspect of me that is concerned with the relative. From the absolute I trust this too will pass. The journey is the awareness, the opening consciousness, the blinking of consciousness, the questioning, the trusting, the opening a little more.  

This is as it should be. (Because it is.) Note what I just did here, I validated my need to validate. That is exactly my point. This validation is insidious. This is how we are socialized from birth. From the moment we are born even from in utero. Always the first need to know from friends, families and strangers, “is the baby a boy or girl?” With the answer to that first question come implicit and explicit expectations and conditionings. At first it may not be so obvious but then comes the baby shower. What do we have here!!  Pink for girls, blue for boys. Yes, there are some folks who trend to the apparent gender neutral yellows and greens.  My questions still are, when did and why is color a gender identifier? Okay, I’ve slightly meandered here but I think you get my drift.  Socially and culturally we are reminded that we are not good enough as we are. We are taught, conditioned to need to strive for a measurable identity by status, education, knowledge, what we have, who we know.  

It is the human affliction of “human doing vs human being”. As “human doings” we become a measurable commodity.  When we really believe our worth is measured by our doing then it is not an easy stretch to the belief that our doing can be measured by our having.  The greatest asset, dare I say it, for being the perfect consumer, a “human having”. As I wander through this mental exploration it gets bigger and bigger. Our language enforces this.  The biggest single word culprit, I believe, is the word success.  It is as an insidious as the word terrorist and equally indefinable.  It is a word that we misuse and abuse. It is used to make others feel less than, to exclude, to bully, it is a carrot stick that is always just out of reach. 

Perhaps, the socialized need to do and all the rewards and punishments attached to this, are the crux of unsustainability. All the Bigs, Big Pharma, Big Education, Big Religion, Big Oil, Big Politics through Big Media encourage us that if a little is good then more is better. The Bigs are enablers of debt, not only Monetary Debt but Emotional Debt, Spiritual Debt, Education Debt, Environmental Debt and destruction and so on. An indebted society is malleable, suggestible. Like vampires the Bigs feed off our low levels of self esteem. When we believe we don’t have enough which translates into we aren’t good enough it manifests into behaviour that secures our indebtedness. To believe “having” will make us happy is a lie.  It is so far from the truth of who you are which cannot be measured by stuff or knowledge.  

There is a tangible way to say enough is enough. Stop mindless consuming. Be mindful of what you buy and who you buy from. Place the welfare of people, animals and the environment over the need to have. Take responsibility for how you spend your money. Demand the truth about what we eat and wear and use. Demand to know where these things come from and what goes into the soil or the production of these necessities. Deny profits to offending corporations. 

In one way, we take control of our actions, this on a relative level.  We can ask ourselves does having wealth or stuff really make us a better, kinder person? Does not having hoards of material goods make us an unkind person? But from an absolute level we also must remember to let go.  To let go and know that in the letting go what will unfold will. It is a practice. It is about trust. It is about beginning to let go of the notion that we are separate individuals bumping into each other on a lonely planet. 

Embrace the “knowing” that we are consciousness manifest.  Our greatness is immeasurable. Our value is because we are not because of what we do. Practice remembering this.