So…I’ve spent almost a year digging into certain social issues that seemed important to cope with, and found the non-dualistic solutions I was seeking. I’m sure I’ll revisit the issues later, but it is important to explain why the digression was necessary.
After all, the point of my journey and teaching is awakening, and all of the chaos takes place within the dream world. So…what’s the point?
Because the dream world, our consensus reality, is very very real to those living within it (as a “householder yogi” myself included, of course) and it sucks energy necessary to awaken.
Marching up the Chakras (used here not as literal “energy centers” but as metaphors for consciousness on a personal or social level)
- Survival. When people or societies are afraid, it can disrupt the ability to function at any higher level. Logic is scrambled, tribalisms increase. Fear is a primary driver, as it is a warning that survival is threatened. Often, this is an illusion, but a powerful one.
- Sex. Secondary only to survival, which is why the “soulmate” process is so powerful. Our sexual attractions tell us things that our conscious minds don’t want to admit. Sex is probably the fastest baud-rate communication between human beings. And what we are attracted and repelled by speaks again, to our tribal tendencies (note the amount of time I’ve spent speaking of cinematic images of sexuality, and how happy I was that, finally, “Creed” crossed that 100 million domestic marker. A good thing)
- Power. These first three chakras make up the “Belly brain”, the home of fitness, athleticism, “gut instinct” and an overall sense of security. No discipline deals with this better than martial arts. They ARE the product as advertised, if you connect it with your heart space. Once fear is dealt with (mostly by learning not to fear it) the heart center has a foundation.
- Emotion. The idea that “love and fear compete for the same place in your heart” is powerful and healing. That means that if you start from #1 and heal upward, the heart opens. If you begin with your heart, and connect with your body, you resolve old hurt and pain, and again have a foundation for real growth. IT IS STRONGLY SUGGESTED THAT YOU BEGIN WITH THESE FOUR. Hatha Yoga is the master of these. I know of no discipline widely available to the general public that is more powerful. This includes my beloved Tai Chi, as the quality of the teacher is far more important. If you just stay on the “edge” of performance, Yoga teaches its own lessons. Tai Chi is much trickier, but just as powerful IF you have a top-notch teacher. I’ve seen yoga work with even mediocre teachers, if you supplement with your own study.
If you look at these first four, you will understand why they are foundational. Fear disrupts them, love heals them. The body is a “black bag” of emotional broken glass if you aren’t careful, difficult to process and treacherous to traverse, but in combination with the heart, the secret to actual growth and awakening.
The remaining levels: communication, intellect, and spirit, will follow naturally. Most of the people who end up in the worse trouble are those who ignore this foundation and fill their heads with concepts.
Remember the progression:
- Sleeping Child
- Sleeping Adult (in the dream, but responsible for her own actions and emotions, self-supporting)
- Awakened Adult (beginning to glimpse that the Matrix is not reality. I can recommend this to anyone at all. It is doable, positive, and powerful)
- Awakened Adult with intermittent non-dualistic awareness (moving beyond the world of opposites, whether they be tribal, political, or whatever)
It is a BIG jump from there to:
5) Awakened Adult with SUSTAINED non-dualistic awareness. This is the last position that has positive results in the “real” world. BEYOND this point is a danger zone. You are as likely to be killed or shunned as exalted, and I cannot recommend that people seek it. If you do, it is because you have no choice: you know who you are, the ones who say “I have to know.”
6) #5 is the last position where language is really much use, so I won’t bother going further, except to say that this is the domain of those states of consciousness generally referred to as “enlightenment”.
Functioning in the world with real power is the domain of the Awakened Adult. But solving the problems of the world is the domain of those moving beyond dualistic awareness. All politicized us-versus-them people are caught here.
But…here is the trick. Thinking non-dualistically can show you the answer, but it requires the help of dualistic thinkers (the mass of humanity) to implement them. So…you have to respect and honor that thought pattern, and offer a path they can understand and follow.
I recently found myself coaching again, and realized that things had changed. That if someone wished to heal the fear and confusion that results from those lower levels (look at America right now. So much fear on so many levels of the duality. NONE of the problems are unsolvable if you simply step out of the illusions of “this OR that”–racial strife, political strife, national or cultural struggles, etc.)
The problems are caused by the “Or”. The answer is the “And”. Of course, even that is dualistic, but that’s the limit of language. Sigh. With the acknowledgement that any conversation about this falls into that linguistic trap:
So the answer is seeing the core humanity that births the separation, and cleaving unto that. Chosing love, which unites, rather than fear which divides. Be kind to those mired in the dream, or dualism, or fear, but do not allow them to hurt you, or slow you down–they have no answers, only screams of rage.
Make tribe with those who will commit to that shared humanity. Even they will have doubts–we all do. But everything about how we got to this place in our country, or the world, is pretty clear if we accept universal humanity, and the corruptive power of fear and separation. Everything from the demons within us to those between us. The current violent headlines and the screaming talking heads. It’s all clear. They are all metaphors for the war within our own hearts.
Martial arts is so wonderful because they DO allow you to be safe as you open your heart. But if you are already safe, I’d suggest yoga. The “Morning Ritual” was designed to heal your body, open your heart and sharpen your mind all at the same time. All if it DOES go together, but I would suggest that syntax. Specifically, either heal your body, then open your heart, then correlate what you have learned into a system…
Or open your heart, heal mind and body at the same time…
But never, ever close your hear, ignore your body, and try to “understand” the world around you. You will fall into paralyzing dualities, fear and hate-based screeds that rip our world apart. And if you try to change the world based on this corrupted “understanding”…well, some of history’s greatest monsters were up to this, IMO.
Be part of the answer. Be loving, but strong. Embrace the weak and fearful, but do not let them slow you down. There is work to do, enough for any open hand. We need all the awake, aware adults we can get.