Two main news items have come across my radar in the last 48 hrs - the Paris terrorist attack, and a commentary on the (oft) ubiquitous superficiality of the yoga industry in the west today. Apparently unrelated topics... yet actually deeply related. Thank you to those who shared them and brought them to my attention.
We live in a sick society - a society where we pollute the water one minute, then drink it the next; we send our toxic waste to distant lands which, currently, still accept it, only to create their own vast, toxic wastelands; we are expected to buy ever more questionable foodstuffs in the supermarkets, where the offending items are listed, or perhaps not; acts of aggression, mass shootings, and terrorist attacks (regardless of who the terrorists might actually be) abound today. Perhaps society has never been any different, with war, persecution, and manipulation of the masses by the powers who be, arising throughout the course of human history.
So what, you might ask, does this have to do with yoga?
Since our society today deifies celebrity as though it were the sole purpose of life, we expect today’s “senior” yoga teachers to be like rock stars; and, indeed, some of them are. Equally, we expect our lofty yoga teachers to attain ever more impossible feats of anatomical ingenuity, without any real regard for what they are actually trying to achieve, or the essential purpose of yoga.
Perhaps, and indeed probably, the “less fortunate or less gifted” have sometimes resented, yet nonetheless almost always revered, those who have and do more than the status quo of society permits. This inevitably precipitates a situation where a minority of people flourish, bathing in the bright lights of privilege, at least superficially, and the vast underbelly of society looks on in awe, with feelings of helplessness and envy.
So whether we are coveting the body and outfit of a yoga goddess on the cover of a glossy magazine, or we are reacting aggressively to someone that is annoying us, we are part of a collective consciousness which creates life as it is. We are all complicit in the state of humanity today. We cannot shirk responsibility for aggression or persecution in the world today. Why? Because our individual vibration when fed into the vast melting pot of humanity creates life on planet Earth as it is today. And since we are frequently sheep-like in our mentality, vast droves of us tend to think and act in the same way. So if none of us take responsibility, we create a society that is helpless to help itself.
Today, the call for us to awaken to our very real human plight would seem to be that much greater than ever before, since we are only a few degrees in temperature, and a few nuclear missiles, away from making our Earthly biosphere uninhabitable - at least relative to life as it is on Earth today.
What are we to surmise from todays's expression of human existence? How should we ourselves respond and behave?
Moral indignation? Righteous proclamations? Soundbites aimed at 'likes'?
These avenues, at best, only offer a very brief respite from the magnitude of our plight. A temporary blip of calm and happiness...a momentary easing of our mind’s tension. I wonder what would happen, if instead of our habitual reactions, we instead chose to look in the mirror, and ask ourselves what does yoga mean to me, and what does it have to offer in terms of our willful destruction of our biosphere and our own human race? If you are not a yogi, then replace the word "yoga" with "individual responsibility".
Perhaps the solution to man's travails, and to world suffering is not to expect Governments to change for the better, or society to magically right itself, but rather that we honestly address the way in which We manifest in this world. I wonder what would happen if we asked ourselves the question - “How do I treat my neighbors, my friends, my loved ones, and indeed those around me who I don't like or want to befriend?”
Life seems to be gently urging us to realize that the macrocosm can only ever be a mirror of the microcosm - indeed quantum science is teaching us this.
If we are outraged by what we see around us today - whether it be superficial expressions of yoga, or sick human beings killing or fighting with one another, then I wonder what would happen if we sought to transmute our own sadness, anger and outrage into a powerful elixir, which brought about the alchemy of our own minds. I wonder what would happen if millions of us admitted that there is frequently little serenity within our own being. I wonder what would happen if millions of us admitted that we are all co-creating the world as it is. I wonder what would happen if millions of us admitted that only Our own inner peace can move humanity forward on a more benign path, one small step at a time.
So whether we are coveting the body and outfit of a yoga goddess on the cover of a glossy magazine, or we are reacting aggressively to someone that is annoying us, we are feeding the collective expression of humanity. We are all complicit in the state of this human experiment, by virtue of our individual vibration.
I wonder what would happen if we all accepted that whilst we may not be pulling triggers, cutting forests, coveting fame or mis-quoting vedic literature that, nonetheless, Our own vibration is a tiny microcosm of humanity’s overall vibration. I wonder what would happen if instead of pointing the finger at others, we inquired within and questioned just how serene our own inner landscape is. I wonder what would happen if taking care of inner ecology was seen as a prerequisite to taking care of outer ecology.
My heart goes out to all those who have been impacted by the acts of terrorism in Paris, and those acts which continue in Syria, the Middle East in general, and countless other "hot spots" around the globe. Their suffering is my suffering, it is your suffering...it is a suffering to be shouldered by all of humanity.