Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strong Reactions

In all my hate-ful relationships I've always found the way out is through understanding the pain and suffering of the oppressor, or hated one. This is different from pity, forgiveness, or condescension. Often, I find that I can trace the very qualities I revile in others to my own behaviors, thus understanding the root of the aversion.

When I react strongly to some external object, person and/or occurrence, there lies the bed of karma. Usually it is rich with insight. If I do a little work, the true self is revealed!

This applies to my reaction to the killing of Ossama bin Laden as well as the woman who condescended to me over the weekend. It is in my perception of the offenses that freedom lies. The stronger the reaction that arises in me, the more I am dealing with something from my past, out of touch from my conscious mind. Fear arises and one strikes out.

In Yoga, we are led to not dwell on these occurences of the fructification of karma, but rather see our true Self more clearly through the acting out. This way we can see out habitual patterns more clearly and perhaps free ourselves from aversion and attrachment.

For really difficult personalities, where denial and avoidance are strongest, other techniques are required. In cases of drug and alcohol addiction, for example, denial is strong and consciousness of the implications of our actions is weak. Then the only course of action is to look at the behaviors in detail and set out the exact nature of the wrongs done. In this way karma is revealed; through seeing, finally, the repitition of similar behavior. Also, it is necessary to make amends as a way of rejoining the flow of the community, be it family or society.

Knowing where to start is often the biggest step on any journey.