The Difference in an Authentic Way

I am in Mandalay, Myanmar today. Myanmar reminds me that in human terms there seems to be two worlds out there. In the first world, the middle-class, well-ordered home teach straight lines and paths that lead into the future. Here there are duty and guilt, evil conscience and confession, pardon and good resolutions, love and adoration. Often there are scriptural texts and wisdom to guide and direct. To this world our future often seems to belong, providing a crystal clear, beautiful and well-ordered perception forward.

The other world is closer to the impoverished, service men and women, servants and others of the workforce. In a place like Myanmar this way is more evident. Here in this world one is more apt to encounter ghost stories and the breath of scandal. There is a flood of coloured, calamitous, tempting, terrible enigmatical going-on, the slaughter-house and prison, drunken men and scolding women, animals in birth-throes, roaming dogs, tales of burglaries, murders, and suicides.

I was raised in the first world but I discovered the second world in my early teens. It was an unpleasant shock and eventually I discovered a way to generate significant will that numbed me into passivity for a very long time My search was for a way back into the first world but it eventually dawned on me that it’s not just a matter of making oneself better; that by returning to this believed dualistic notion of order I would be turning away from chaos; leaving the chaos still existing.

These days in our global community there is much arising of the dark, chaotic world to the point that it seems to be overflowing its boundaries, but the truth is that it has always been a pervasive part of us. It will not just go away through grasping onto our conditioned remedies. Something of our humanity has been sacrificed from embracing those dualistic perceptions that very early in life have been forced upon us.

Colin Wilson suggests that the way to innocence is not back to the primitive child, but ever further into guilt, ever deeper into human life. “Instead of narrowing your world and simplifying your soul, you will have at the last to take the whole world into your soul, cost what it may”. Ultimately the descent into the dark world is not necessarily evil; it may in fact be the necessary expression of boldness and intelligence, from an individual and in turn a collective perspective. ” How ever we find our way around and unfold from here is not guaranteed. There is something in the necessity of learning to trust in ones own direct nature and experience arising from that in how we relate to our fear, other primal emotions and each other.

5 thoughts on “The Difference in an Authentic Way

  1. The corporate system is working as it was designed. Corporate greed and inhumanity plays a huge roll in the poverty of the world, as does the greed of ordinary citizens in first world nations.


    1. I agree AJ. The ego consciousness is pervasive. I cant help but think that the planet will continue to react to these fragmented human ways in a way that will ultimately take its toll. Trump is another symptom of it. I often wonder about how to make the kind of difference that would contribute to positive change. Seeing the poverty and suffering here helps to bring me into awareness of my own indulgent ways.I do desire to live more abundantly and with vitality but I think being limited to ego is not the answer and I see that there is something of my ego in my anger towards trump like personalities. So to go into this.


    2. Greed has been with us throughout history. Attempts to restrain it by force have often been more destructive than the greed itself. So the question is : “How do we heal greed?” Selfishness is the natural self-directedness of the insecure or suffering individual. If we are not suffering physically, what is it that makes us insecure – that threatens us with potential suffering? Guilt. Guilt is the withdrawal of self-acceptance. Greed is one of the ways in which we defy the oppression of criticism. It tends to be a negative feedback loop. The more we are criticised for our greed the more greedy we become, because the alternative would seem to be collapse into suicidal self-contempt. Some find a way to transcend their greed and “prove” themselves through adoption of some form of self-righteous idealism, but this has the disadvantage of taking us further from honesty.

      What we need is to cultivate unconditional self-acceptance, to cut through the negative feedback loop. The way to return to health is to give up trying to prove anything about ourselves. The relief involved in giving up that battle is what will give us the energy to take part in any activities which can make things better for others.

      The problem with attempting to work from the outside in – trying to change people by emphasising how endangered the world’s ecology is and how much our fellow humans are suffering – is that these are appeals to the two most paralysing of human emotions – fear and guilt. We have to start from the inside – we have to recognise what causes the wounds which make us destructive. And that is idealism. Idealism, by criticising us, undermines our capacity to love ourselves and if we can’t love ourselves we can’t love anyone else. We are ego-embattled against idealism’s attack upon us. If we are to come out of our ego castle and join with others in a sense of community, we need to feel that we are unconditionally acceptable – that we have nothing to prove.

      Liked by 1 person

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