Mace Windu’s a bad mother, you know what!
Seems the idea of hierarchy is on the agenda for today. Tim’s all about Surrendering Personal Sovereignty and he quoted me on the subject of guru yoga. Some of my thoughts on hierarchy and social organisation which I will admit are partially mirrored by Julius Evola, seem to have struck a chord in some readers as well.
The real larger issue to me is this: are we so paranoid about the loss of our free will and personal soveriegnty, that we’ve closed ourselves off to a whole universe of possiblity? My experience would say yes.
I belong to two groups based on the principle of submission to a master. One is a martial tradition called the Bujinkan, and the other is an esoteric branch of buddhism. Niether one really raises an eyebrow in society at large. It seems like we will accept a certain amount of submission as long as it is controlled and consensual. Or maybe we are conditioned to expect a certain amount of hierarchy in the pursuit of enlightenment, or the path of the warrior. It’s pretty hard to convince yourself that you can do either of those things without help from someone with experience. ( Unlike politics for instance, which is the only path I know of with absolutely no qualifications neccisary)
But I’ve also seen a certain amount of hysterical fear from people in this area. I’ve encountered folks in my dharma classes who refuse to bow to the buddha, or to the teacher of the class, even when it’s explained to them that it’s a symbolic gesture of respect, not a sign of subserviance.
in the martial arts it can be real problem. Mostly because there are some abusive assholes, usually with subpar skills, who like to power trip and browbeat people to feed thier egos. This is really just a micorcosm of the larger perversions I’ve been talking about from the get go. Power isn’t the problem. It’s the lust for power you haven’t got.
My firm belief after much experience in this area is that the need to abuse and control people comes from lacking a sense of personal power, not the other way around. If you know who you are, if you inhabit the consciousness of the master, why the fuck would you need to go around playing games with people?
So the real problem is not that there are a bunch of masters out there waiting to oppress you and steal your free will. The problem is that pretty much everyone at some time or another wants to be in the consciousness of a master and can’t do it. So we all run around high on the psuedo power that comes from asserting your ego, all the while starving for real wisdom. But the only place to learn that is ..where? A master.
The issue of free will seems rather ironic in a day and age when the range of acceptable opinions, acceptable thought, and acceptable speech is about as narrow as anyone I know can remember. We’re all so hysterical over some imagined threat to our free will, that we’ve effectively robbed ourselves of any authentic choices.
we’re free to go anywhere we like, as long as it’s in this cell right over here…
Part of it is the exessive mystique that rises up around the issue of ‘individuality’. We want to be free to express our individuality, so we’re terrified to submit to anything. To a teacher, to a tradition, to a truth that transcends us.
Indeed, we are so afraid to admit that maybe we’re not handling this whole free will thing all that well, that as a species we’ll never learn from our mistakes until it’s too late. The modern age has enthroned the sovereign ego, which quite frankly is the tiniest speck in the eye of a dead ant compared to the potential of real human nature.
Why did it become so hard to trust wisdom? Probably when the traditions that were supposed to protect it started breaking down. Why do we fear authority figures so much? Why do we fear the violation of our neurotic scared little egos? Because that’s what we’ve been taught to do, usually by people who are even more scared shitless than we are.
Sure bad things happen and sure power gets abused. But that’s never been more so than the age we live in now, when everyone supposedly has ‘free will’. So maybe we all ought to quit fighting to the death protect our captivity to fear. Maybe we ought to think about submitting to true wisdom. Because the source of true wisdom is the one thing that can really save us.