Its a difficult time in the world. And its an easy time to try and find surety in aggression. This is a kind of reaction blindness. And when we react against reaction, its like blind leading blind – on steroids. But, when the going gets tough, perhaps the strong might become sane.
We have that choice. The option to NOT react. The choice to respond to danger with sanity. This is not only a better option, its also is a good survival strategy. When we respond with clarity, we are in a position to see more accurately. And awareness is power.
Sanity is also a basic human right. We have the right to have the space to choose sanity. It is the right to find our own way. And it is the belief of the Shambhala teachings that when people are granted the right to be as they are, they are inclined to make the right choices. In truth, to limit another’s freedom simply to secure our own safety, makes slaves of us all. Not very sane.
The definition of neurosis is applying ineffective strategies to meet perceived needs. Strangely, we are compelled to these strategies, despite that fact that they don’t work. Societal and political identity is feuled by a desire to find safety in certainty. But, certainty rarely finds parrellels to reality.
Sanity, on the other hand, is the bravery to choose the fresh space of awareness. When we release clinging to articles of personal identity, we are able to open to an interactive relationship with our world. We begin to sense that what is best for all, is best for ourselves, as well. Conversely, pre-empively thinking “whats best for me” is, by nature, defensive. And defensive reactions are seldom wise decisions. I believe this is true even if we were directly threatened. For what better defense than knowing your enemy? What better defense than seeing through the surface aggression to the frustration, ignorance and fear that is driving it. There is no better defense than awareness.
In fact, unless we are aware, we are completely vulnerable. And, when we react out of blindness, hating this, attacking that, we are not only defenseless, we are easily led. The fearful are so often angry chattle, led from battle to battle, working, dying, killing and birthing in the fields of materislism.
But, its is not our battle, and it is not our war. Our battle is to overcome the small minded defensiveness that has kept us enslaved. Our battle is to awaken into our birthright as leaders and protectors of our world. This is sanity. It is compassion in action: being useful to the world, and valuing awareness above all else. Because when we are aware, we are in charge of ourselves and responsible for our world.
I am not a fan of the current US administration, nor the protectivist tendencies currently sneaking into fashion in the capital west. It all seems to be forcing a hand that has been forced again and again throughout history. The gap between those who have and those to get it for them widens. When it begins to become clear that governments are owned and increasingly controlled by material interests there necessarily comes a tipping point.
Perhaps the tipping point can flip in the direction of global sanity. But, whether it toggles toward sanity or destruction, the only path to awake is to trust our goodness and remain aware. When we remain awake, we are not so easily led. When we remain vigilant in awareness, we develop the bravery to hold our seat amidst the chaos. When we choose sanity, we become a natural resistance to prejudice and greed.