Reflection #14: The One Story?

I just read a TED talk (yes, read it… ?) about the “single story”. This is a narration of this Nigerian writer who (you can use the link) warns about the single sided view of things. We paint all people from a single story we heard or read somewhere. In my mind, I always try reconciling this with my “spiritual bias”, how does this filter through the philosophical/spiritual view. And, I do not have a complete thought except that I think of my personal story. How do I view my life, my activities, my perception on how others view me. This directs my ideas from others’ expectations of me.  

In yoga, I have learned from my Beloved guru, a hugely divergent story of what my life is, or is meant to be. I remain clear, this has helped me draw the difference between the material perspective, and the spiritual point of view. In simple terms, I understand we have a choice in every circumstance. This choice is never an easy, however, simple choice. Starts with my understanding of Newton’s Law and 2 perspectives in life, the material, and the spiritual view.  

The 3rd law of thermodynamics says “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”  (paraphrasing). There is an action (karma), and for every action (physical, mental, etc., knowingly, or unknowingly), there is an equal reaction (sanskar). This is a simplification according to my very limited understanding of this law. Material actions provide material reactions. In the same way, for every spiritual action, there is a spiritual reaction. Especially in the latter, intent plays a huge role (selfish or unselfish). 

My first question was, if God is only Love, then why create this? It may seem cruel. I think it is only meant to lovingly help. The reaction is the restorative lesson, like a parent would, the natural consequences. Although, I am the one falling short every time in my understanding. And this is where choice happens. Am I intending a material reaction, or a spiritual lesson and growth opportunity? Am I willing to learn? Considering that I am glad I do not remember all my actions from the past (from infinite lives! …and thank God I don’t!), I falsely identify with my present condition, and react – “I do not deserve this!”. “I am such a good person!” Ha! How many times have I done that?! Someone cuts me off in traffic; talks to me rudely; does not pay attention to me; does not give me what I want, the way I want it. Do I really know the original action that triggered that reaction? Therefore, am I able to understand the reaction? Possibly not. 

Thus, ideas of humility, open heartedness, equity, servitude, Love really come from this understanding for me. It is my false identity (ego) that misunderstands. I judge, and stereotype, and criticize others with this bias too. Who am I to judge others? This is my material perspective (maya). If I simply could maintain an open mind and heart to become whom I am meant to be… This would be my spiritual perspective. 

A dear friend had a beautiful exchange with me, wondering about the environment we live in. It is all material. How do I spiritualize my life? What a beautiful thought! My guru always says, find ways in which I think is becoming fully in love for God. Everything we do should be for His/Hers/Their pleasure. Although, as I write this, it may sound very radical, and somehow dogmatic. There is, of course, an element of faith. I do show faith, in science and scientists, politicians, loving relationships, etc.! I can also choose to look inside, where I experience Divinity. In other words, why am I doing this? Why am I working so hard? Buying more “things”? Eating more? Making more? Exercising more? We can choose our action, thus the reaction, with a mindful/heartfelt intent. 

I think about my story. The story I tell my Self (not just myself). What other story may I choose to tell? What other loving way may I choose to exist? 

My yoga practice helps me as a reminder and a clarifier of the reason I am being/doing. I look inside, observe, appreciate, and choose to attempt a change. My intention is to rediscover or uncover my loving Self…my relationship with Divinity. The one true screaming voice in my heart is the one that craves true infinite Complete, ever-increasing Love.