The path of compassion, insight and creativity - the struggle for GAIA and against the 1%-satrapy of war and wage-slavery.

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Spiritual Vulnerability

If she ever read my last blog I suspect Brene Brown would say that I have missed the point about vulnerability by calling it ego. But the fact is that the path cannot be hurt, spirit cannot be hurt, love cannot be hurt; only ego can be hurt. When I look at Thandie Newton’s love and vulnerability every aspect of my male being wants to wrap her vulnerability (fear of being hurt spiritually) up in a cocoon and protect her, but that is also an egoic reaction on my part – wanting to protect her ego from being hurt.

Life brings hurt. In England I grew up afraid of men who were willing to hit you at the drop of a hat because they were ignorant and violence is the easiest way. When you argue about racism, chauvinism and politics these men become vulnerable, cannot cope with that vulnerability so they lash out. Knowing why it happens doesn’t make it any less violent. You learn about these men and you learn how many buttons can be pushed. You learn discernment.

Women (heterosexual) in love have to cope with this male violence, I don’t know how they manage it – the more these men love the more vulnerable they become and the greater potential for violence. When I love I become vulnerable but it is not my love that is vulnerable, it is my ego having greater potential for being hurt. At the same time when you love you can be exploited eg over money. When you love nothing is more important including money. Some people (I include myself) have given up anything for love because love is so wonderful, but with the continuing experience of love comes wisdom and discernment so that you can limit the hurt. Love in life teaches you discernment to overcome vulnerability – ego being hurt when in love. Once we have loved love is never lost, no matter how much hurt there is/was the love is never lost. The ego gets hurt, and we can attach to that hurt if we are unwise, but the love is always there – it is never lost; that is the greatness of spirit, the path. The power of the karma that comes to those who exploit people who love them has to be extremely difficult to live with.

As we can see with that wonderful Thandie Newton moment we can be vulnerable on the path. The bells and banjoes we feel when first on the path is as powerful as the feeling of love (for another), love and spirit are the same. And of course that makes us as vulnerable as we are when we fall in love. And when we start on the spiritual path we can be exploited. When first on the path I can remember my cocooning masculinity wanting to reach out to every artist and spiritual traveller to help them on their way. That feeling is still there and it pours out in these blogs.

But as we learn about the path the path teaches us the same protections of discernment; we have to be careful not to allow discernment to become numbness. There are of course charlatans on the path as there are people who will exploit love; what must their karma be? We have to discern these charlatans, and keep away from them. One famous charlatan was of course Aleister Crowley, I advise avoiding all contact with his followers - avoid even his books they can be seductive. I warn against spiritual teachers who have sexually exploited the vulnerable – keep away from them. Desire is something to be controlled by people following the path – not indulged. I found wisdom and safety in tradition but it is far less exciting - such excitement has got to have a high level of ego. The power of the path has got to make us vulnerable as the ego will be attracted by that power. The path provides the tools of detachment and discernment to deal with this power. We have to be so careful of the glamour attached to the path because that glamour is mostly ego. We have to be careful of siddhis. I believe it is common for spiritual teachers in India to promote their siddhis as badges of spirituality – sales pitches if you like. Whatever spiritual experiences come on the path, they are not the purpose; I have always seen them as carrots. I mentioned the bells and banjoes that came to me when first on the path. As the path becomes accepted and developed through meditation and wisdom, the bells and banjoes disappear into an improved general well-being, when there is no need for motivation to keep us on the path.

To return to vulnerability. As we love we learn discernment to protect our vulnerable selves. Once we are on the path we similarly develop discernment to protect our selves. One of the Buddha’s teachings was anatta – no self, the no self that Thandie talked of. It is our selves, our egos, that are vulnerable. Use discernment to see the formation of self, and use detachment to stand back and let the hurt go – to end the formation of selves (paticcasamuppada). Yes there is vulnerability for those on the path as there is for those in love. Use discernment and detachment to deal with this vulnerability, and then the path (and love) can provide what they are meant for. Living life on the path, living life in love is just joy – spiritual joy – bliss.

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Books:- Treatise, Pathtivism Manual, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education. Blogs:- Matriellez, Mandtao.