“Possessiveness is nourishment for the ego.” -Rajneesh
Imagine that you were a person of great influence and power. Imagine that you had so much power that you could fire people, start wars, negotiate shady deals, and make others dance to your tune. Now imagine that you had a certain idea of just how your life should be, just how the world should be, and just what you expected of others around you. You would never have to be challenged; you could enforce your will on others as you pleased. And you could destroy what is not pleasing you.
We all know of people with this kind of power. Some of them inspire us with their continued humility and generosity. Others make us shudder at the suffering their possessiveness inflicts on the world. Yet whatever degree of influence we have, the question remains, what is our possessiveness doing to others?
“…when possessiveness is not there, relationship has a beauty of its own. When possessiveness is there, everything becomes dirty, ugly, inhuman.” –Rajneesh
We come into this world with the need to survive and the need to be loved, and yet we are completely helpless to make either of these things happen for ourselves. We learn early on that some outside source has to fulfill these needs for us. And we learn to shape ourselves into beings that please that outside source. It is this learned behavior that becomes the source of possessiveness.
“We redeem ourselves and help redeem the world a little through a conscious and continuous effort to find and live the inner dream and unique story of our lives.” –Michael Meade
I wonder if the biggest casualty in these challenging times is our inability to stay grounded in a sense of lightness, joy, and sacredness. Certainly where fear, anxiousness, suffering, and insanity prevail, our spirits get heavily weighted. I continue to ponder Hildegard of Bingen’s definition of sin, which is to dry up. Perhaps, in light of her words, one of our biggest acts of protest is to stay wet and juicy and bursting with the life force.
Week Three. There is a passion, a life force that runs through us. How did this life force express in you as a child? A young adult? Middle age and beyond? What has “dried up” this passion in you? What has nourished and fed this life force within you? What wants to express itself through you now?
We have become a junk culture with a voracious appetite for embracing things of poor quality and little value: junk food, junk toys, junk clothes, junk mail, junk tweets…
The 4thyama, Brahmacharya literally means “walking with the sacred”, yet we live in a culture that invites us to “walk with junk”. What would happen if the 5000 advertisements we are exposed to daily turned our attention to what is holy? To what nourishes our entire being? Instead, our attention is directed to that which disappoints and so quickly finds its way to a landfill.
How to be in these times? What is the relevance of practice? Jane Freedman interviewed 26 influential practitioners and scholars in the fields of meditation, yoga, writing, nutrition, emotional intelligence, coaching, and more to ask them these important questions.
“Practice is the place where we activate the inner yes and live an empowered life!” states Jane. Sign up now to access these free interviews by clicking this link: Journey into Courage.
“Water sustains all life. Her songs begin in the tiniest of raindrops, transform to flowing rivers, travel to majestic oceans and thundering clouds and back to earth again. When water is threatened, all living things are threatened.” Indigenous Declaration on Water 2001
All life is dependent on water, yet we, who, at the mere turn of a faucet have constant access to clean water, tend to take it for granted. The careless habits of big business and complacent individuals are creating worldwide consequences. United Nations statistics are daunting: “Some 663 million people are currently living without a safe supply of water close to their homes; … over 1.8 million people frequent a water source contaminated with human waste; … 80 percent of the Earth’s wastewater returns to the ecosystem without being treated or recycled.”
“The yogi cannot allow himself to take anything which does not properly belong to him, not only in the way of money or goods but even such intangible and yet highly prized things as credit for things he has not done or privileges which do not properly belong to him.” -I.K. Taimni
In an interesting turn of events, a court in Italy recently ruled on behalf of a homeless man who stole some cheese and sausage. The court, stating that the man was acting “in a state of need” ruled that “if you’re hungry, stealing food is not a crime”. Makes me wonder if that same court might accuse those of us who carelessly let food rot in our refrigerator or mindlessly discard excess in garbage cans might be held in contempt as the real culprits of stealing.
“Truth is like a vast tree, which yields more and more fruit the more you nurture it. The deeper the search in the mine of truth the richer the discovery of the gems buried there, in the shape of openings for an even greater variety of service.” -Gandhi
Week Three. Contemplate what the impact of post-truth, alternative facts, fake news, and truthiness is on yourself and the world at large. Note that it has become “normal” for emotions, gut feelings, personal beliefs and personal convenience to take precedence over observable facts and data.
Glenn Fairman wrote, “Truth is a lot like virtue — in that most everyone claims to desire it, but the general consensus deep down is that they would rather have pie.” This week notice in what ways your desire for ease, convenience, and personal preference determine your willingness to settle for “pie” rather than to seek Truth.