2016-03-30

No, that's the other ONE

The other day a Facebook friend liked a posting which featured a quote from Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche:
“Millions of people in this world are interested in some version of meditation, or yoga, or one of the many so-called spiritual activities that are now so widely marketed. A closer look at why people engage in these practices reveals an aim that has little to do with liberation from delusion, and everything do to with their desperation to escape busy, unhappy lives, and heartfelt longing for a healthy, stress-free, happy life. All of which are romantic illusions.”
The teacher's remark about the illusory nature of most spiritual activities made me nod spontaneously because here in Auroville you find quite a few people who mistake personal improvement for liberation from delusion.

I do not know the first thing about the rinpoche, or whether he generally fosters elitist notions, like some of the commenters believed; the quoted statement of his does not strike me as judgmental, though. It is just pointing out facts, however hurt one may feel by it.

For most of my life, before lack of success made me see the futility of it, I have believed with everyone else that trying to change the order of things, or becoming a "better" person, were solutions to all the problems in the world. Being unhappy and trying to escape that state was a powerful drive to get me started. So neither wll I dismiss activism as a valid step on the path to liberation, nor is it my intention to diminish its efforts and achievements.

But I also understand that the attempt of manipulating oneself or "the other/s" stems from the same illusory paradigm which created this troubled world in the first place. Spirituality, as well as political, social or environmental activism, can become as easily a means of escapism as amusing oneself to death while looking the other way. Our generation, being scared of, and shaken by, the mischief humans create has a hard time getting this point.

The subject busied my mind for what was left of the day. In the evening I felt drawn to watch a video featuring a man who really, really rocks me every time I hear him speak. Funny thing is, it incidentally revolves around the very same topic as the above mentioned quote, only does it attack it with a playful lightness which I find tremendously charming.
Feel invited to shed some tears of laughter.

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