Episode Eight, We Have Not Come to Take Prisoners
Karma is not punitive. Embracing consequence is the medicine that brings that balance. So why do we disempower ourselves from living fully? Who told us that we are unworthy and unable to heal and we must make prisoners of ourselves in this life? Is that actually true? No. I don't believe so and not by Hafiz' standards, it is not. We came here to engage in the entire spectrum of human experience. That includes allowing ourselves to actually see and experience the bountiful world around us and to know that we are a functioning part of that wild and sometimes brutal, passionate beauty.
Thank you for listening.
To punish is to take something from someone or something that is deemed by another to need correcting, be controlled or require confinement. Punishment is done to disempower and disenfranchise. A prisoner will not celebrate their confinement unless they are coerced into believing that this is as good as they get. We must not be fooled into thinking that to be human is no big deal no matter how far into our cups we are. We must remember that we are not any less divine than anyone else, even in our shame. Having a body and living a life is absolutely a holy enterprise both exquisitely beautiful and brutal. We are designed to embrace both.
Living our lives as if we've been taken prisoner may not be the goal for some but we find ourselves there, none-the-less. Prison is the hole we fall into and, if we are completely delusional with unworthiness, we drag others along to keep us company. Slavery, war, the scarcity mindset and all the byproducts that fear and hate can procure; these are the prisons of humankind.
Music: We all have our prisons or a brush with constraints in our lives. It is part of the orientation to the existing social norm. Whether it is metaphorical or we have felt the cold steel encase us in any number of addictions or acted out in actual violations of the law, we all still have to choose. Do we opt into a cycle of fear or step out of it into grace? I picked this video because it makes me think of all the ways we can glorify and build upon fear and loathing. Prisons as institutions are an issue in our lives in the United States; an issue we need to recognize that many of us bought into and is woefully inadequate. We have actually constructed a workforce with those incarcerated making it even more heinous and difficult to improve. Bullying, isolating, and torturing is not a solution. It is not the best we can do. And, why did I choose this video?...well, Johnny Cash. Art springs up in fertile, fecund and dark ground and The Man in Black rules here. It may not be what we want to hear but it is what is there. It is our nature to expand our horizons and desire freedom.
...I bet there's rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
They're probably drinkin' coffee and smoking big cigars
Well I know I had it coming, I know I can't be free
But those people keep a movin'
And that's what tortures me...
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.