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Hero worship. Influencers. Celebrities.
We love to build ’em up, turn our own inherent dignity and intelligence off…then tear ’em down for a failed-perfection that they never plausibly claimed.
We’re all Kings and Queens of our own lives. So sit like a mountain, work with our own discursive mind, work for the benefit of others—and we’ll experience a vajra-like humbleness, a humbleness full of dignity and absent of groupie-like idol-worship.
Waylon shares some everyday wisdom on how, instead of idolizing others, we can retain our critical intelligence, trust the principal one, and look for satisfaction inside of our own heart, and in service, instead of outside of it, through idolatry and worship.
Watch the Video:
This is a video recording of our Podcast episode: Theism.
For more The Mindful Life chats, go to elephantjournal.com/talkshow.
Always retain your critical intelligence. Trust the principal one. Do not place others on pedestals. Do not look for satisfaction outside of one’s own heart.
Trungpa Rinpoche always described Buddhism as “non-theistic.” We aren’t a-theistic, he’d say—we don’t not believe in God, or gods. We only believe in things that we can find to be true. That said, if God or gods show up, we’ll be happy to believe.
Same goes for reincarnation. Same goes for kami. Same goes for cat. Same goes for Buddhism itself, as the Dalai Lama reminds us (he says if Science and Buddhism conflict, Buddhist ought to go with Science).
“When we tell ourselves and others that our heroes are inhuman and on a pedestal that is not just high but unattainable, we are actually pushing ourselves down rather than climbing.” ~ Katrina Honigs
I grew up in a wonderful community, a Buddhist community, currently roiled by long-suppressed accusations of sexual misconduct, assault, misuse of funds, patriarchy, suppression of critical intelligence.
Much of the dialogue surrounding this painful, yet illuminating time, flows through the filter of online hate. But it is this dialogue that is charged with creating a new, better, more open and equal society for those who wish to meditate and study together without subjecting themselves to trauma.
Whatever our situation—nationally, worldwide, or in local community—we depend on journalism, and honest, respectful dialogue, to establish truth and progress. Never undervalue independent media—please.
When exposing a corrupt leader, it’s vital, important, to include the source, always.
Otherwise we’re just mob love (cult) or mob hate (what we’re seeing on social media, too often) instead of societal justice, which we all need and deserve so we can awaken and improve.
Theism—worship, then, often, hate—putting humans on a pedestal, tearing them down—is a distraction from the truth of the point of a genuine spiritual path: meditate, practice, compassion, be of service.
We do not need idols to serve.
We do not need idols to hate.
We should call them out, when there’s proof, and leave them behind.
We need to improve and train ourselves so that we do not have further generations of abuse, as we’re seeing with the Boy Scouts, in ballet studios, Buddhist communities including my own, Catholic Church, the fashion industry, yoga…everywhere.
It’s important to not idolize folks in the first place—everyone’s human. It’s important to seek after truth, presence, community, but not worship. It’s the folks who worship most who tear folks down and hate the most, later on, when they’re disappointed. They’re tearing down their own worship, out of guilt and anger.
In Buddhism we’re taught to always retain our critical intelligence vs. Theism. The podcast/video/blog above goes into the teachings around non-theism, more thoroughly.
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