RYS 200, 300, 500 in Rishikesh
” I don't agree with your opinion but I would die for your right to express it”
Today, reading the online Swedish newspaper, one of the articles which caught my interest was an article on the topic of relationships and the headline read :”Three couples breaking the relationship norm”. First of all; are there any norms for human relationships and second; should there be any norm for human interaction? That is to be left undiscussed for now... Anyway, the couples were interviewed on how they managed their romantic relationships. One couple lived in different cities, keeping the romance alive via Skype. Another woman wanted a poly amorous relationship or ”relationship anarchy”, as she put it, and refused to stick to dating only one man or woman, but claimed the freedom to interact with as many as she pleased. The third couple did not want to have children, which is a bit tabu in a country where everything is made for having two children, possibly three.
As I grow older, I realize that when it comes to myself I am very middle class traditional, unexciting as it is! I would love to be a bit wild and crazy, more bohemic etc…. but sad enough I feel like a complete fake every time I try and so I have surrendered to being quite traditional. I may or may not want to live in relationship anarchy myself, but I want you to have the option to do so without being judged. Or like someone said: ” I don't agree with your opinion but I would die for your right to express it”. And for your right to live it!
A year ago, big billboards with the text: ”Is your life boring? Spice it up by having an affair!” decorated the streets of Stockholm. People were outraged, fuming with sudden moral indignation. Newspapers wrote about it and the company providing the service of hooking up miserable spouses, willing to cheat on their partner, was absolutely called down by upset people - claiming the company was encouraging infidelity. How can you encourage something if it isn't there already, I wonder? Inappropriate as it may be to advertise infidelity as a way of spicing up the autumn, I take my hat off for the Marketing Director - who certainly got the company publicity and probably was enjoying a big bonus at the end of the year! But why this strong reaction? Anyone interested in psychology knows that when something is forbidden, it becomes twice as interesting. That’s human nature! So forbidding, by law or culture really only fuels the flame. Perhaps removing the secrecy and putting it bluntly out there as the most natural thing in the world actually decreased the number of cheating couples that fall?
But the question is: should our own moral codes be affected by what is prohibited, encouraged or should we decide our own code of conduct of life? Make life choices that we will stick to regardless of what others may think? Never mind the norms or punishments of society? Can I only resist temptation when it's not presented to me, then how strong is my commitment and willpower? If your incitament for playing by the rules is based upon fear of the punishment, then it is not high moral but desperate suppression of desire. On the other hand; if you when facing temptation can stick to your own code of conduct, then you are growing, strengthening your third chakra by respecting your personal boundaries. It is not in the absence of temptation that you are being tested as a saint or sinner, but in the presence of it.
There are many ways of walking the path of spirituality. One may withdraw to a cave, spend life in an ashram or in a monastery... but how much of that is really about avoiding temptation rather than mastering it? To me, with my limited understanding, the greatest spiritual masters are the ones who can remain in the everyday life, facing all aspects of human life and keep to their truth. That is mastery...