Travels With Arjuna

Unicode symbols of partnerships
It’s truly wonderful we finally have marriage equality in the United States, but, as has been said, the battle is far from over.  Reactionaries from the opposite end of the political spectrum are, sadly, not giving up on their quest to persecute an already distinctly mistreated minority.  I recently read about a couple who is investing millions of dollars in a sad attempt at ensuring the world conform to their idea of the way things should be.

Unfortunately for these people, the universe is constantly evolving and changing, and hanging on to their tensions, as they are in this case, simply creates extreme imbalance in them.  Furthermore, I think it’s important to note that this resistance they resolutely cling to fuels an attempt to thwart the creative evolution of the cosmos! Considering the universe is a force of unfathomable power, this doesn’t seem to me to be a positive thing for them (or any of the rest of us!)

It’s difficult to fight the winds of change, though, especially when the change benefits humanity in a real way, as with marriage equality. Any attempt to inhibit this quite natural evolution of mankind would seem to me to be a tragic waste of good energy, both for those being tyrannized and for those who tyrannize. Someone once said something to the effect that when one group of persons is marginalized, then we are all less free.

One thing I’ve learned from living in ashrams these last seventeen years is that I always seem to attract the situations I fear the most.  And while I’m hardly the ultimate authority (or any authority for that matter!) on karma, I can’t help but wonder if these misguided folk aren’t creating for themselves the very thing they seem to fear the most — a future incarnation as a gay man or woman — possibly in a place notoriously hostile to gays? Just saying!

Anyhow, these sorts of societal changes are going to occur whether we like it or not, so even if we don’t like it we should probably learn to accept it and deal with it on a fairly deep level; otherwise it’s always going to be there in our consciousness, tugging on our emotions, contracting our energy and making us (and other innocent beings!) miserable.

I’m so thankful for my spiritual practice and for the ability to energetically surrender these sorts of mindsets by these sorts of people, while realizing this is simply the nature of samsaric (of the physical world) existence. There is always going be ying and yang. Only by coming to terms with that can we ever lift ourselves up and out of it.

Giraffe Yin & Yang

There are as many ways to extricate ourselves from this (less than evolved) samsaric state as there are legitimate spiritual practices, but for Babaji’s students, the answer is surrender. By surrendering energetically (by means of specific breathing techniques and mantras), we can alchemically alter our subtle bodies, and in turn affect our reaction to any hatred and bigotry being brought upon us.

To be a political activist is a great thing, a true calling. These people, if they are fighting the “good fight” well, and not resorting to devious means, are, no doubt, earning good karma for themselves.

But we as yogis must take a breath and step back momentarily to attain a degree of detachment before we act. We must be judicious as to where we choose to invest our energy. Indeed, I believe we can be more effective at changing the world by changing ourselves inwardly than we could if we took our energy and ran right out to do battle with the dark forces.

So my advice for any group facing discrimination is to focus on your spiritual practice first, get firmly centered, and then do whatever you can to energetically surrender any negativity that may be directly affecting you. As for working to affect social issues in general though, the most effective means is, once again, to first become focused and centered inside.  By attaining this state of mind we positively affect everyone and every thing around us. Then, only when we reach that state should we enlist in the “army” and join Arjuna on the battlefield, because becoming centered and detached brings forth a bright light and that bright light will always, in the end, subdue the darkness.

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