Monday, June 14, 2010

The Rebel in YOU


"People are afraid, very much afraid of those who know themselves. They have a certain power, a certain aura and a certain magnetism, a charisma that can take out alive, young people from the traditional imprisonment....

The enlightened man cannot be enslaved - that is the difficulty - and he cannot be imprisoned.... Every genius who has known something of the inner is bound to be a little difficult to be absorbed; he is going to be an upsetting force. The masses don't want to be disturbed, even though they may be in misery; they are in misery, but they are accustomed to the misery. And anybody who is not miserable looks like a stranger.

The enlightened man is the greatest stranger in the world; he does not seem to belong to anybody. No organization confines him, no community, no society, no nation." -- Osho The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself Chapter 9

Have you known rebels that make you uncomfortable? Is there a rebel in you that makes others uncomfortable? Is the rebel in you able to break barriers (especially internal?) With what results?

What do YOU think?

42 comments:

Sabina said...

don't think any rebel ever made me uncomfortable. I rather feel drawn to them.
But, Osho's quote provides a nice explanation where I previously lacked one, because I know of various people who were afraid of me, some of which were older and respected members of society, and hearing that they feared me (and that was many years ago, so I was also very young), didn't make much sense to me. I wasn't unfriendly or rude, I didn't behave dominant nor domineering, and as much as I thought about it, I couldn't find a reason on why they might be afraid of me.
So, thank you. :)

Sabina

Mirjana said...

When I was young my rebel aspect was free of paying too much attention if that was ok with my surrounding. With 14 I started paying more attention and with that I started losing my authentic rebel aspect. Marriage and children push it somehow more back. Later, when the primary existential problems have been solved, I started again taking time, attention and energy for myself and my true rebel nature awaked again.
I think that rebel part is the true nature and it is great if it is not neglected but nurtured. Knowing self is the most important purpose of being here and if this one is not true, everything else will also appear as false.
In this age I embrace rebel and stimulate people who I teach to be aware of self and not to negotiate about it. I do not pay attention if the fact that I am true to myself will be accepted from others. It has not been always like that and therefore I enjoy this beautiful connection of my mature age and my youth.

Thomas said...

It seems that you have made a connection from the rebel to the enlightened man, which are both kinds of archetypes. I have difficulties seeing that connection, except perhaps that both are superficially non-conformists. Can you explain?

Molly Brogan said...

Actually, the OSHO article made that connection, and included this explanation: "Whether he is wealthy or poor, the Rebel is really an emperor because he has broken the chains of society's repressive conditioning and opinions. He has formed himself by embracing all the colors of the rainbow, emerging from the dark and formless roots of his unconscious past and growing wings to fly into the sky. His very way of being is rebellious - not because he is fighting against anybody or anything, but because he has discovered his own true nature and is determined to live in accordance with it. The eagle is his spirit animal, a messenger between earth and sky.

The Rebel challenges us to be courageous enough to take responsibility for who we are and to live our truth."

I liked this idea, of a person who inspires by mere presence, like Neville Goddard's Magician of the Beautiful, who moves through experience and inspires beauty all around without a word. This seems to me the truly integrated rebel, who transforms from inside out, seamlessly, creating harmony without conflict by sheer awareness, inviting in our golden shadow and highest potentiality.

kris said...

I see it a bit differently than Osho. What is there for an enlightened person to rebel against? I think an enlightened person would delight in just being himself. Many rebel, but I would be hard pressed to find enlightened beings in this genre.

p.s. Others might perceive the enlightened person as being rebellious, but I doubt that he is being rebellious.

Melissa said...

Well, not every enlightened person rebels, and not every rebel is enlightened. But they can go together in some situations.
A situation that I can think of where they go hand in hand would be someone who is raised in a family or a society where a certain religious faith is strictly followed, and that person becomes enlightened to new ideas and beliefs so they renounce their religious faith and go against the norm, which is rebellion in a way.

But I think this can be applied in other less-obvious ways as well. Someone can be enlightened to the fact that what others think of them doesn't matter, and that they don't really like wearing the same type of clothes that everyone else wears and they don't like not being able to express their true personality. So they decide to wear clothes that they like and express themselves how they want to even if it rebels against societal norms.

I personally love whenever people rebel in this way. It inspires me to do the same.

Thomas said...

There are many types of rebels. Some are quarrelsome and pigheaded, others fatuous and blinded, others idealistic and truthful, some even noble. It seems to me like Osho had one of his flowery moments when he spoke these words. Yes, there is something like "crazy wisdom". Spiritually developed individuals often go against the stream, as they value truthfulness and integrity and place if above conventions and rules. But this has nothing of the rebellious impulse that arises from being in a state of conflict with the world and experiencing suffering.

Molly Brogan said...

Maybe what OSHO is pointing toward is that a person who can genuinely be themselves irregardless of social norms yet always within the greater good becomes a self evident rebel, requiring no word or action to the contrary, the expression of truth all that is required. Here the word rebel applies in the sense that ones very being may not fit the status quo, yet conformity is not an option as it would deny true self expression. Being true to ones self in this case can take courage, or can be as natural as breathing, but does disturb the status quo. Ultimately, if everyone in my experience is of me, the rebel and the reaction to the rebel are but sign posts to a greater awareness.

Brian said...

well of course the greatest apparent rebel in history was JESUS he was seen as a rebel and threat to established authority both roman and jewish, he made the rulers of that time so uncomfortable that they had him killed to silence him

Gilles said...

I can relate to what you are saying in the sense that I am losing some rebelry. Giving away really. Making an effort to adapt. In some ways. Not always saying what I think for example. But then again in many other ways I'm not even aware that I'm a rebel, and the more ways I find out, the harder it becomes to work on all of them.

No but I think this picture is put very black and white. For example, I don't believe that enlightenment itself is threatening to anyone. It's just that the enlightened person sees the limits of others more sharply, and with that seeing this enlightened person is tempted to give attention to these borders. And people feel that, even though they are sometimes not capable of giving attention to their own limits. Hence an uncomfortable feeling.

The deeper I know myself, the deeper I know others (yet I'd put hesitation about how another person is the as the number one of healthy thoughts) but others don't always want to be known, because being known as a whole means that there is attention for your negative aspects too. Personally, I keep myself quite busy in learning to deal with that.

Maybe you have felt already that enlightenment philosophers and I differ strongly in the opinion that we want to move in a direction of total self sufficiency. Aurawise I mean. Yeah and with that I mean that we should reach a state of auto-dependence. No.

In that sense I am a solid center biologist, observing that the human is a group animal. Our natural state is not to be alone, or self dependent. No. We want each other and might as well admit that.

Our natural state is to be together, loving each other, helping each other and trusting each other.

I agree with Osho in the fact that our society has taught us to be distrustful to each other. We should liberate ourselves from that idea, fight an inner war, to become free, not in the sense of an independent rebel, but in the sense of a source of love, feeding on honest and trustful interaction with friends.

Carcha said...

Clocking in 15 June 2010, 1200:15 - 1hr45mins before Brazil defeats North Korea in the World Cup.

I have a question:

um ... well, if a designated rebel (in your definition of an enlightened man who knows himself) is really good at what he does, would he intentionally fit into the society and make changes for the betterment of all? In other words, should a rebel dress in the popular styles in order to not create uncomfortable feelings in others?

What causes uncomfortable feelings in others, in the presence of a rebel? What is it in a man who knows himself (and presumably by implication something about life and about others), that makes others feel disturbed?

Carcha.

P.S. When I was a teenager long ago, some guy I knew approached me at a party, and without bothering to say "Hello" (the party was at his house), he stated that the greatest men history has ever known have been martyred. He proceeded to rattle off a ten person list I cannot recall exactly, but it included Jesus, Thomas Aquinas, Joan of Arc, Socrates, and so on. In modern times I suppose one could include Lincoln, Kennedy, King, and (nearly) Reagan - and even John Belushi. This has now become a serious question! Gad ... Marilyn ...!

Molly Brogan said...

"men history has ever known have been marytred"

Interesting that you bring this into the conversation, as the original root of the word martyr in Latin means mindful, and in Greek - witness. Originally, the marytr was the witness or enlightened man. Somehow, the term has been distorted from this to include suffering.

I do agree that a naturally occurring ethic goes along with enlightenment - that to know oneself also requires knowledge of others and the relationship between with foundation in the greater good.

Should a rebel fit in for the greater good? Not if the status quo requires going against what the individual knows as absolute truth, and it often does, as it (status quo) is based in power, not ethics.

Brennus said...

Mankind usually has a propensity toward at least suspicion and that means fear toward things they do not understand and that usually(again) leads to regulation of some sorts. Even in so-called free societies.

Nabil said...

My name is Nabil, and I am a rebel.
I make some people uncomfortable, and some avoid having exchanges with me.
All that while I try to be kind and accepting as much as I can.

Rebels like myself are not happy with things as they are. We can't let misery go unnoticed. We speak up. Often to our own detriment. But we are who we are..

I have said to many people; to fear me, is to insult me. But people can't help but become afraid from ideas that require them to leave their comfort zone. Taking chances is not easy when you are not convinced yet. And rebels insist that people must consider alternatives, and encourage people to change their ways.

Those rebels that appeal to people with logic and reason, are more difficult to deal with, because they touch where others can't reach.
Man is always looking for answers, and when answers are given, he can't help but notice.

An example of a rebellious idea is to "give up religion all together". Can you imagine if all people in the world gave up religion. Now, that does not mean that the idea is good for the world. But presenting it creates more thoughts than people can handle. A rebel revels in such mental challenge.

Sabina said...

The rebellion I talked about basically refers to standing your own ground. Being the person you are regardless of whether it is popular or not, regardless of how it is received by whatever your surroundings are at the time.
Because surroundings can change, and always doing just what is expected of you kills your blood, or at least freezes it and it kills your soul, one day at a time.
The longer you wait with this, the harder it becomes to be that.
There is nothing noble nor knowledgeable about not being a rebel. It is not always what you are told it is.

As for rebellion in that other sense, the grand-scale opposing, there are plenty of examples, Gandhi, for instance. But that is not what we are talking about here anyway, so no need to get into that.

Sharon said...

Yes, I have met rebels that make me uncomfortable, and guess what, it is these people who have given me the gift of the most spiritual growth or awakening in this lifetime.

Spiritual warriors are not interested in validating your illusions, and this is what makes us most uncomfortable. We all have that spiritual warrior (enlightened man) in us, but we are aware of it by degrees or limitations depending on our ability to wake up in this life time. The enlightened man, moves our “stuff”; sometimes it hurts and shakes us up. We have an “intuitive identification” with this person “although unknown to the (our) personality (lower manas/self)” (HPB – Meditation Diagram).

I try not to make others feel uncomfortable, but I know that I do. I would be untrue to myself (Higher Self), should I be otherwise. Sometimes it is appropriate to not participate, if it is a trivial issue, but other times, often, it is an issue of spreading negativity, malicious rumours, or acting in an unwise limiting way. Something in me takes over, and out spills the truth.

You ask ,what are the results of this? Well usually silence at first, as each person absorbs what has been said and it will resonate differently depending on the person’s awakened connection to their higher intuitive Self. Then, sometimes, privately, some will come to me and say “Yes, I agree, and it needed to be said, we need to see the whole picture”, or, whatever the situation was.

It’s at this point, my heart leaps open and I confirm, Yes, there is a person I can connect with on some level….. and then, being the spiritual warrior that I am, I take hostages!

Mark said...

Colin Wilson addressed this question in his groundbreaking work, "The Outsider" over 50 years ago and his conclusions remain valid. I value hell raisers as much as peace makers, they both serve valuable roles in the social contract. HPB took no small delight I'm sure in shocking the sensibilities of her contemporaries as a theosophist and a woman. Maya Angelou another great woman has said the hardest courage to muster is the moral courage to stand by your convictions and tolerate no bigotry in your presence.

The all too frequent complacency around us needs people who will & do shock the system and bring us to our senses. For me- give me crude vigor over polished banality. And like the Zen student struck by the stick that heals will offer up a sincere 'thank you'.

Michelle said...

Yeah, I got a rebel in me that makes others uncomfortable for sure! My internal barriers are being chipped away by spirit

Katinka said...

I think you just validated the rebel in me :) The risk the rebel takes is to stand outside the pale of human society. Wistleblowers risk more than just the loss of a job. They risk never finding one again.

It may be one reason why religion traditionally stresses the unimportance of money: because those who really aren't part of the fabric of values that we all set up for ourselves and each other, have to be willing to take the next step. They have to accept the possible price to be paid.

David said...

It puts pressure on people to realize their greater potentials for freedom and fullness. If they can dismiss those who have realized their greater potentials for freedom and fullness or their realizations, then they don't have to take the injunction themselves.

I also think it's about power. If they admit others have a greater realization it often involves a giving up or sharing of some power, and when those "realized" individuals don't want to share the power but want it all themselves, it makes it all the more difficult.

Shashank said...

Looking on the people who have most touched me whether personally or mediated thorough their teaching/words most have a quality of being a rebel to varying degrees. When I was very young I always loved Jack Kerouac, famous quote: "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”


Thinking on friends that have affected me the most, I’d say at this point I value the more rebellious ones more. There have been friends who were good, but pretty much set in conventional ways and that’s all they required of me as well. Others were more curious, less stable, and more demanding of themselves and as well as me. These were the more fun and in the end more meaningful connections I’ve made.


As far as being influenced by teachers/teachings: the top 3 out of 4 where rebels. Osho, Adi Da, Krishnmurti. In many ways I feel those three really represented a boldness and innovativeness in their teaching that has begun to fade from more recent teachers who are much more conservative and orthodox. Personally I found at different times each one of those either hit me in my gut and made me feel uncomfortable/unbalanced because they knocked some consolation lose from my being, or at other moments they were inspiring and helped me trust/see more fully in my and anyone’s possibility to be the truth now, to actually realize what we are….


In a simple way anyone moving deeper or higher then the status quo, or present conventions, is going to come up against resistance, the further they move away the greater the resistance they’ll face from others and the world. I recall someone telling me: If you’re going to live from a place of truth then don’t expect the world to thank you for that, because it usually doesn’t. I’ve found the advice quite inspiring.

As far as a rebel in me: When the rebel is interested in transcending my own limitations and surrendering to a feeling of being lived by god then it’s a beautiful thing, but if that rebel turns outward and thinks it needs to change the world or others then it usually gets caught up in anger, and is a way of protecting myself. Not that changing the world is necessarily wrong (not at all), but its where that motivation comes from, and for me it usually comes from a place of anger not love.


P.S. It’s cool you picked that quote from the Zen manifesto, I’m pretty sure that was Osho's last series of talks before his death.

Nabil said...

Dear Katinta

You wrote

"It may be one reason why religion traditionally stresses the unimportance of money: because those who really aren't part of the fabric of values that we all set up for ourselves and each other, have to be willing to take the next step. They have to accept the possible price to be paid."

The question is why do people do the things that they do? I posted this in the blog section earlier, but I think that it fits here as well.

The Ego

That thing that defines you
The reason you do the things that you do

The engine that powers your desires
and guides your way through life

It is a trip

It can find you easily, but has a problem recognizing others
It is a slow dance within the self

The Ego

It is the answer, or insisting on making a choice
There is no giving up for the ego
It knows how to survive

Go out of your body

How much ego is left?

Molly Brogan said...

David, I'm wondering if "power" is an issue for "realized" people. I don't think it is. I think power has more to do with status quo.

David said...

I think you're right that power isn't an issue for the most realized people in terms of their emotional or psychological needs; they don't need it to feel good about themselves or to satisfy some kind of longing or cover up some developmental mishap. If a realized person has an organization, though, there needs to be a power structure to get things done; there will occasionally be disagreements and disputes. If the realized person wants things to get done his or her way, meaning a higher and better way, they will have to have some power to get it done.

A realized person may sometimes need to run for office to really get things done, to usher in a new way of living and doing things. They may need the power an elected position offers, the power voters can offer. Also the power inter-organizational and inter-personal relationships can offer. I'm not saying that things can't ever get done without some of these things, but sometimes I think they will need relative types of power to overcome resistance and overcome others who do want power to satisfy emotional needs or to maintain the status quo or usher in something regressive.

Molly Brogan said...

I'm wondering if a truly realized person finds anything in his experience that needs to be "overcome." I think that the kind of struggle you describe falls away with a non dual perspective. People follow a realized leader not because he is looking for power, but because he represents the possibilities of better life. Resistance requires duality, and a realized person would point to the path of reconciliation and redemption with a natural ethic that comes from seeing consensus experience in connection always.

Lisa said...

shashank: In a simple way anyone moving deeper or higher then the status quo, or present conventions, is going to come up against resistance, the further they move away the greater the resistance they’ll face from others and the world. I recall someone telling me: If you’re going to live from a place of truth then don’t expect the world to thank you for that, because it usually doesn’t. I’ve found the advice quite inspiring

Interesting comments Shashank. It got me thinking your words on - the further people move away, the great the resistance they face from others - I see it as a dichotomy, the further they move away the more they will be inclined to face it head on. And therefore, yes, back to Molly's musing - it is a full on form of rebellion. As far as it relates to realizers that we happen to notice, we are talking about spiritual teachers, but this is of course, not limited to overt spiritual teachers. A fully realized person maybe expressing their realization through a multitude of different means. It's just that spiritual teachers have the hardest time when it comes to realization. Rightly so because of the territory they are in, and not so rightly so, because if I am correct, realized or not, they don't cease being human beings.

Molly: I'm wondering if "power" is an issue for "realized" people. I don't think it is. I think power has more to do with status quo.

I'd think the issue of power goes hand in hand with realization and responsibility. The bigger, more fully formed and evolved the realisation, the more power to act, usually against the gain of conditioning is brought into play.


David: A realized person may sometimes need to run for office to really get things done, to usher in a new way of living and doing things. They may need the power an elected position offers, the power voters can offer. Also the power inter-organizational and inter-personal relationships can offer. I'm not saying that things can't ever get done without some of these things, but sometimes I think they will need relative types of power to overcome resistance and overcome others who do want power to satisfy emotional needs or to maintain the status quo or usher in something regressive.

Yes, I reckon this is a really good example of that relative power and responsibility of realization, at least as I see it at the highest, most difficult levels. After all, to act in the world with such realizations certainly has to be much more or at least just as tricky as what a realized spiritual teacher would experience, only minus the supporting culture of a particular tradition, plus culture depending on ones whereabouts in the world & what domain of life one is authentically serving and potentially contributing to transforming.

I have a feeling that the greater the realization, the more sobriety there may be, & thus more ordinariness and ability to act in the world - far from the mere personal endeavor informing a 'realizers' original motivation. I don't know. But I am enjoying your interesting thread Molly! I know that.

David said...

Molly, yes, Christ is an interesting one to look at here. We could look at what role power played within his community and also between him and the other relative powers of the day.


Lisa: After all, to act in the world with such realizations certainly has to be much more or at least just as tricky as what a realized spiritual teacher would experience, only minus the supporting culture of a particular tradition, plus culture depending on ones whereabouts in the world & what domain of life one is authentically serving and potentially contributing to transforming.

Yes, I think that's right, a very tricky business. :) I think it involves a whole new set of skills (like political skills, interpersonal skills, knowledge of systems and people) that don't necessarily come included in the realization package. We could look at Jesus from this perspective: He didn't understand how far below him the Pharisees and Romans were, how many light years they were from understanding him, and perhaps he thought the power he had would necessarily trump their relative power. We might say he lacked skillful means, and it got him killed. Of course there are other perspectives, such as the idea that he knew he would be killed and set himself up.

Molly Brogan said...

I can tell you that from my experience, I have known great leaders, and some would consider them to have great power, but power is not the issue for them. They move ahead on what they know to be the greater good, and they all have a talent for consensus building for the greater good. They don't engage in buying or selling, punishing or rewarding like the more fundamental politicians. They bring people together, establish mutual understanding by facilitating compassionate communication, and perform the duties of their office with reliability based on their truth, and their constituents can see their own relative truth reflected there, because it is based in the absolute truth, and there people are moving in spirit.

The enlighten man not only knows himself, but knows himself as all others. Being centered here is what some call being Christed. The model of a life that Jesus Christ left is a model for crucifixion, resurrection and ascension that is an internal consciousness raising process. Whether he was a man knowingly giving this to us, or a man born of a destiny brought forth by our collective unconscious as Jung theorizes, we may never know. But what I saw in the story was a man who continue to stand in his own truth while unenlightened, power hunger men moved around him. I don't know about you, but in my life, I have not always been able to change the status quo. Always, in retrospect, the result of waking away was far better for me than I could have dreamed. And sometimes, that status quo changed in my absence.

Nabil said...

The Rebel in you

Those who see what others can't
look above and beyond the rest

When joy is missing, they provide it
When caring is needed, they are the first to be there

They write their poetry
and sing their songs

They dance to attract attention

They seem to talk in loud voices

People seem to have no choice but listen

Lanoo said...

For the last two weeks a young man has been sleeping rough on the little beach in front of our house. He is creating an installation with pebbles, art in the landscape. He has been an alcoholic and drug addict, and now he is trying to go clean. He is working his way around Britain, building installations on beaches wherever the mood takes him. But to the people in the nice neat houses looking down on the beach he is unsettling, perhaps even a threat. Perhaps he is dirty. Perhaps he is a thief. Perhaps he molests young children. Perhaps his existence out there undermines the values on which our everyday lives are pinned. My wife has taken him food. Will that cause resentment from our neighbours? Is she encouraging him to stay longer on our beach? Young people from the nearby town have congregated by the installation in the evenings, talking to the artist. Is the artist a bad influence on them? Or does he offer liberation?

Mark said...

'Perhaps' & 'maybe' are old chestnuts that impede compassion, service and simple dignity. I applaud and thank your wife for her actions. If this gesture causes resentment among the neighbors- that's their issue not yours. Young people are not fools- do they want to imitate this poor fellows homelessness & lack of basic needs? Of course not- but young people love passion toward life, freedom and a vision of purpose. This lad on the beach may inspire their creativity and a desire to expand their horizons.

Curious thing about most artists and poets- they tend to be outsiders & rebels. Which reminds me of what the poet Robert Graves said- 'poetry and art can only be defined by the emotional responses it evokes.' Rebels like magicians can raise the veil a maya a bit for us all.

Lanoo said...

On Saturday the homeless artistic rebel moved on. His work was partially trashed, we don’t know whether that was the trigger for him to move, or whether it happened after wards. Just as well we didn’t have such mindlessness in the old days, or the Coliseum and the Parthenon would have been trashed as soon as the builders moved out. But guess what? Yesterday four more ‘pebble installations’ appeared on the beach, but the homeless guy will never know that he inspired others.

Molly Brogan said...

The true Rebel. Bravo.

Greg said...

A rebel is a person who knows what the norm is and knows what he/she believes to be true and chooses to act on what they believe. It isn’t just acting on what they believe there must be conflict.
In college I took a test once I answered each question twice. Once the way the teacher wanted and once the way I thought it should be. I got an A and an F. The teacher didn’t know what to do.

Jackie said...

I have made people uncomfortable, including myself. Others have also made me uncomfortable. Indeed it is difficult to step outside the box. But we must have the courage to face the truth. Face it, deal with it, fix that which was found to be a lie. Admit wrong doing and cease doing it. Otherwise, we will never be free.

Scott said...

We are rebels because on some level we realize that this journey is truly our own. We are not here to help others, we are only here to see ourselves to the end. At some point we release the world and embrace our solitude, in so we gain the universe.

Some I know will say we are here to help others, to change the world, but it isn't true. You cannot save those who don't wish to be saved, and those who do save themselves. You may be a passing tool or catalyst, but each must be their own savior.

The world is set up that we may intermingle. That our energetic chemistry may catalyze events and lessons we need, but our consciousness and individual choice makes it a miraculous lone journey in the end. Thankfully.

Lanoo said...

Rebellion is about rejecting the status quo, current lifestyles, expectations. In as much as we change day by day we are all rebels. Or perhaps we are simply conforming to nature, and those who reject all change are the true rebels!

The change we bring about in ourselves we do because it feels right, so in general we are comfortable with it. Only in the anticipation is rebellion scary. But change in others is not so comfortable. Perhaps it will result in change for me that I don’t want. So we are wary of other rebels.

When I was in my 40’s I gave up a very rewarding job and career to go and find myself. My work colleagues and business contacts all said “six months and you’ll be back.” They had to believe that. Their business life and its trappings were so important to their ego structures it would be too uncomfortable to think that they might not be necessary. Only by striving for another promotion, or buying a bigger car, a yacht, a Mediterranean villa, could they be sure they were ‘worth something’. I didn’t aspire to a rich lifestyle, but it wasn’t easy to stop working. I had been brought up with a strong work ethic in the years of rationing after the war. It was a risky thing for me to do, as well. I couldn’t be certain that I would be able to support my family.

I spent time in the wilderness, then took seven years to research and write a book on The Secret Doctrine. Eventually, my ex-colleagues were right, and I did ‘go back’ to the business world, as a low-waged ‘volunteer’ helping communities build wind farms. Was any of this uncomfortable? I don’t think so. The more freedom I gave myself the more I felt I was living a life that was true to me.

Denise said...

This is so very true. Even when I was young and timid and looking for love and approval, I still had my own set of beliefs and questioned the discrepancies between what I was taught and what I knew to be true. As I grew older, those differences caused me to strike out on my own... I didn't fit in anywhere. I felt very much alone. I began finding like minded individuals, and it was so thrilling to me. Soon I started seeing them everywhere I went! A whole community of like minded individuals! There is a quiet revolution, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. It's like my spirit has it's own consciousness and it has taught me much and brought me much. It is stronger and wiser than I am, and I no longer listen to what people think my spirit should be saying, because each person's spirit speaks to them directly and gives them what they need for their own life's path. Spirit, higher consciousness, universal energy... it matters not what you call it, but it's there and it makes people nervous when you listen to it directly instead of asking other people permission or for their interpretations or serve their agendas.

Vam said...

The phenomenon is actually simple. It arises from the nature of the
ego, which in its essence is competitive.

Any person who displays excellence of attitude, knowledge, skill,
thought, speech or action ... constantly departing from the common and
the accepted or expected ... possessions do not move him, power does
not interest him, knowledge arises in him as required or necessary
without him having to keep it under lock and key ... he can only be
either banished from our midst or be accepted as a much loved leader
and highly regarded teacher.


That kind of acceptance is rarely possible, less so in our
democratised society, where everyone is a leader and a teacher, none
for more than a few formal minutes, hours, days, weeks or months !

Georgia said...

My understanding of the original post was that, by the very nature of being enlightened, you are interpreted as a rebel. Your very existence as one who stands apart creates a rebel of you, with or without your permission. And I would certainly agree.

Most people are content to stay fat, dumb and happy (or at least miserably content.) When someone who is self-possessed, successful (in spirit, if nothing else,) insightful, etc comes along, it creates a sense of self-consciousness in those who do not have that extra something, and they become angry. The only way the average person feels comfortable is to have everyone around them reflect their own image back at them. By virtue of being someone unique--which we all are, but only a very few embrace--you are 'upsetting the apple cart.'

I have experienced this throughout my life, in many different forms.

By refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance, since I don't believe in God nor blind devotion, people have become seethingly angry. Why? Because it made them conscious of a notion outside what they wish to consider.

By virtue of not hiding my sexuality, the lives of people who feel ashamed about who they are get disrupted. (At least, as they see it. "Why oh why can't you just be like everyone else and live a duplicitous, shame-filled life?!?")

Recycling cans in a community where no one bothers to do so can 'make' you a rebel.

I would argue that it is more a case of the lack of enlightenment of the masses that creates a 'rebel' out of a sincere person; which is, I believe, precisely what was being said!

Mark said...

We all seek Jungian individuation- be it by age, interest or subculture. To quote Lenin & Malcolm X- 'by any means necessary' we must individuate. And each individual is a blow against the empire of mind numbing conformity.

Luis said...

I do not think that I am a rebel nor do I think that I am an enlightened person. To this moment in life I have never met anyone who makes me uncomfortable, nor do I wish to make anyone uncomfortable. I love my solitude and the simple life of the contemplative mystic, and apparently my life style makes people uncomfortable. Why? I have never been able to understand. I guess they see me as strange, and strangeness makes people uncomfortable. I have reached the conclusion that every contemplative-mystic that lives in the world must be seen as an oddity.