Dear Self: Fcuk You.

Via Kristoffer Nelson
on Nov 29, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

This article is brought to us today by Kris Nelson of Recovering Yogi.

Dear Self:

Maybe, instead of meditating with crystals and chanting mantras, you could just stop being an assh*le.

Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t have anything against meditating with crystals (privately*) and chanting mantras, per se. That’s fine. And it’s the latter that’s important.

If I could sum up my lifetime of spiritual work and the canon of human wisdom and devotion, as I see it, it amounts to the following: don’t be an assh*le.

I don’t mean to mock or make light of spiritual work and the canon of human wisdom.

Well, that’s not true, I do. Modern spirituality is also easy to mock. (Brilliant mockery, by the way, is what makes RecoveringYogi great.) Though, the real greatness of RecoveringYogi rests not in its mockingly flippant perspective that consistently spews foul language, but instead resides in its capacity to see, express and retain the value of the things it mocks. That’s post-post-modernism, bitches.

Sadly, in all the indulgence of self in the name of indulging the Self, something valuable is often lost, and that’s the refinement of self. It’s troubling to me that most people embedded in the culture and practice of self-awareness, self-improvement and self-empowerment are rarely actually aware, improved or empowered, and are often instead more self-righteous, contemptuous and critical  than the “common man.” (Like me and this post, for instance.) The Walt Disney Company, for example, typically treats their employees better than most yoga studios, and they’re big assholes.

You see, my dear friend, I had an experience about five years ago.

One minute I was talking with Adyashanti, and the next minute I was like, “OMG, everything really is one.” And then I woke up the next day and I was like, “OMG, everything is oner.” And then the next day, “Double OMG, everything is onerer.” This went on for about six months, and the experience still rests in my heart and saturates my mind with ecstatic embrace.

From this aha moment forward, I taught yoga less; I taught spirituality more. I did the satsang thing. I blogged. I would talk with people one-on-one and they would have similar experiences…but the experiences would never sustain.

This was all neat. But, sadly, with this new awakening came a lot of awareness, humility and honesty. Suddenly, I knew. I knew what I had been hiding from all my life, and that was the fact that I was an asshole. And, sadly, in my supreme state of resplendent revelatory enlightenment, I knew that I was still an asshole and probably also a total douche bag. In my non-thinking state, a thought floated up through my mind: Dear Self, Fuck You.

I worked all my life to be enlightened, and the only thing I got was the realization that I was—and still am—an asshole.

Waking up doesn’t abolish the ego (which is, very simply, your conception of self—and even more simply: who you think you are). It just puts it in perspective.

…Continue reading on asshole-ness and enlightenment here.


About Kristoffer Nelson

Kris Nelson works to development business, culture, and consciousness. He is a consultant, entrepreneur, and a corporate executive. He is also certified Anusara Teacher and well established meditation teacher. After teaching in Los Angeles for many years, Kris spent several years touring Asian, Europe and the United States teaching Anusara Yoga, meditation, and perspectives on awakening in the modern world. When Kris approached the age of 30 he decided that it was time to get an real job and now assists organizations and businesses in both evolutionary and financial growth. Kris currently resides in Raleigh, NC working his first corporate job in a very long time. You can find Kris on twitter at @toffernelson or on his website


7 Responses to “Dear Self: Fcuk You.”

  1. Steve says:

    If you are what you eat, Kris, you may want to limit your intake of assholes. At least warm-blooded ones. Although, most vegans are borderline assholes, aren't they? Since all organisms excrete I suppose a non-organic diet is your only option. Air, water, sunlight. Maybe a dash of salt. A sprinkle of dark matter for variety. Got to have some variety!
    Feast on wisdom. Avoid appreciation, especially the "I appreciate you" side dish at the gratitude banquet. Eeeww.
    Oh, do try the humble pie. A smallish slice should do the trick.
    Good luck, Kris. I had the same ailment years ago. One day a stranger in the 15 items or less lane told me to get my head out of my ass. Ha! Cured!

  2. Randall Smith says:

    Your honesty is refreshing and necessary. That really sums it up. Thanks.

  3. Kris Nelson says:

    I love your prose, Steve. And, yes, most vegans are borderline assholes (I'm actually addressing this is my inaugural Elephant Journal post).

  4. Kris Nelson says:

    Thank you, Randall. I appreciate your comment.

  5. Hilary Lindsay says:

    Nice to have a fellow traveler. I began writing a book three years ago. It is the only self help book any yogi should ever need. And it is about us and yoga and mostly what a bunch of assholes we are while we always think the other one is an asshole. Anyway, I've been advised and overadvised to lose the vitriole and the title and the word asshole being told that negativity will not get me anywhere but I see once again that everyone who told me that is an asshole and I wish I would never take advice from anyone ever because clearly people respond to a story about assholes. Thank you for the clarity.

  6. Kris Nelson says:

    My pleasure. I think, personally, that people like things they can relate to. And I think, personally, everyone can relate to being an asshole. And, further, most importantly, people respond to things that other are passionate about, and I am, in certain terms, passionate about my assholeness – or, really, passionate about the discovery of said assholeness and my desire to not be.

    For your clarity, your lesson, it sounds like you learned settled into something important: always be true to your vision. If people like ("like") it, it's an added bonus.

  7. […] Some of the forms of yoga are simply a way for people to combat insecurity, vanity and to confront their own notions of self and being in the […]