Friday, July 19, 2019

Affirmation Begins the Alchemy to Betterment Be Present, Look Forward, Don't Relent

It is the summer of our discontent. Let's be honest. There is more to come.  The picture you see here is a summer sunrise in North Carolina.  Let's not forget the beauty in the midst of all this ugliness.

Words matter. Intentions reveal themselves in actions. And we must neither relent in our criticism nor allow ourselves to be dispirited or overwhelmed. There is real toxicity in our world. America is truly at a turning point and we must engage. Yoga is the word we use for the deep engagement that invites us to alchemize that toxicity into something far better, more empowering and inclusive.

We who are not that crowd are not only outraged but rightly frightened, disgusted, and afraid that this is a growing pathology, that we are not going to defeat it, that the world is burning in every way. We must not tire in trying to articulate our aspirations and ideals along with our genuine fears and trepidations.

That is the war I want to fight. That is the demon we must defeat. It will not die. It will rise again. But we will be there each and every time it appears and become that Kali Durga who knows what must be done. She knows too that Her own vulnerability is at the core of Her self-recognition, that even She, the great Goddess contends with every possibility. This makes Her not those demons.

We too need light and an awareness of human shadow, including our own. This is never once and for all. It is a process that demands vigilance, persistence, and humility. We don't want to be that horror and ugliness but anyone _could_ be that. Courage alone will not protect us. Courage is what we will need to create decency, honesty, and the virtue that can protect everyone.

It's frightening when you realize that many of these people in the Trump mob don't believe their intentions, feelings, understandings, and behaviors are sick and sickening. They don't even know that they don't know what is stirring inside them. Toxicity has no limits and those without meaningful boundaries will only create more.

If we can hold fast to the idea that there is a lot inside that we _don't_ know and that we must be vigilant to our emotional intelligence to stand a chance to survive and respond appropriately. We must resist from a position of humility _and_ strength of character, not too confident but not the least bit timid.

The fear, anger, and, yes, the hatred we feel is real, it's honest because we _feel_ it in our bodies and minds and hearts. But when we accept and look to affirm the reality of these feelings then we can alchemize them with courage, compassion, and decency.  Don't dismiss or by pass these negativities.  We will not transcend them.  We not be forgiven them.  We must learn instead what we can and must do about them.  We also have the goodness and the good company we need to grow and evolve.

It's only when we deny the negativities that they can grow. The light does not dispel the darkness but reveals the shadow. And when we see both light and shadow then we can evolve and become who we want to be. When we insist that the shadow and the darkness keep the company of goodness, we can look more deeply into the soul, we can become our better angels. This is no easy task. We can learn together because that is how we will learn. With each other.

We must stand for goodness and know when to dodge fire. It's a dance to try to be good and do good but it _can be done_. That is what we learn from Mandela, from Dr. King, and others, all of whom were deeply flawed persons but who held up the possibilities of human decency.

When Appa invited me to live in his home and be a part of his family, he wasn't trying to show me perfection or represent some fantastical spiritual claim, like guru or siddha or sage. He was inviting me to take up the difficult tasks that urge us to love, to be good, to tolerate and understand that everyone has gifts and that the best among us will fail even when we try not to. We've all known such persons who call us to our better angels. But truth to tell, that is what we are all being called to be right now.

These are troubled times and the world needs _you_ to be that goodness you are. I feel confident you will try, that you will be better than all of the fear and hate and anger. And that's what keeps me going.