Contemporary society is all about success. Yoga is all about enlightenment. Both are statuses that supposedly we don’t have and we should pursue. Both are the divide between average (if not bad) people and those who made it – and are consequentially better than the rest. They both lead to a scale of worthiness. Both are considered the purpose of our life here. Both are achievements of something “else”, whether it’s inside or outside. And both make me feel uncomfortable. There’s somethings that clashes so much in both of them.
So I’ve been wondering: Okay then, what’s the point of being here? If it’s not success and it’s not enlightenment, then why do we experience all of this? Every species has a fundamental role in this big natural chain, what’s ours’? Why have we developed a critical mind?
I couldn’t come up with something for a while. Sometimes I would go back to good, old, comfy enlightenment or success, because they were the easy answer. Then finally a little light sparked somewhere.
When do we reach peace and balance, when do we feel truly good? When we fulfill our nature. When we embrace it and dig it to the fullest. Balance is the only constructive thing that truly exists, that can stay and that can be sustainable in the long run. It’s not followed by the foreboding fear that something will go wrong, it’s not provisional, it’s not a single moment, nor an achievement. Balance is a reality. Everything that works, works because of balance. We don’t have it in our instinct anymore, yet we can reach it through our critical minds.
So what if the purpose of this life was to reach that balance? To not aspire to something higher, nor lower, but something that is EXACTLY at our level, where we are, in space and time.
We are very many people on this planet, and each one of us is different from the others. So what’s that thing that is in EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US? That is wherever even just one of us is? H U M A N I T Y.
What if the point was to become human?
To live in and with this world, instead of hating, murdering, destroying, competing. Because that doesn’t mean to be human, but to aspire, achieve, pursue and live accordingly to “better” and “worse”, to create scales of worthiness, to cultivate frustration, to nourish hate. To become human means to embrace and embody the perfect balance between what’s above and what’s below, without scaling or labeling or calling names. Light and dark. Good moments, and bad moments. Past and future, to eventually become present.
As I wrote a few days ago on my Instagram, the key is gratitude.
If you are grateful you are focused. If you are focused you live in the present moment. If you live in the present moment, you become human. And if you become human, then you become a mean to love and peace. No matter who you are.
Yoga can show us the path to gratitude. At least it showed it to me. Namaste, everyone says. At the beginning I thought it was a salute. And actually it is. But imagine if instead of saying “hi” to someone, you greet them by say “thank you, I recognise your beautiful energy and your precious being”. Wouldn’t that give a completely new, different taste to life and relations? Of course I’m not saying we should all start by doing that, I admit it would be superawkward! Nevertheless, it is a very strong example of how yoga can teach us gratitude.
Focusing, that’s what meditation intends to strengthen. The ability to stay focused on your breath. And your breath is the quintessential proof you are here, now, existing – and full of elements that can turn you into a human being.
A dark side is essential and precious, nevertheless, I do strongly believe humans are not on this planet to spread that. We have a huge potential for love, help, compassion and improvement. To use our critical mind to improve the resources of this world. Chances to turn that potential into fact are not just in yoga, they’re all around and, most importantly, within us.
I don’t know if I’m wrong and this life really is just about success and/or enlightenment: so many people talk about the perks of reaching something higher and how empowering that feeling is. However, I can’t help but asking myself: if the empowerment of very few people creates a mass of “not-that-worthy” and “inferior” beings, is that really empowering? If for the glory of one winner there have to be thousands of losers, is that really a victory?
Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic who dreams about a utopian peaceful planet. Regardless, this “becoming human” thing that came to me a very normal day while driving my car, on maybe in line at the supermarket, feels a lot more like a constructive, collaborative purpose than a personal achievement.
It feels more natural, somehow. More balanced with this world. Less faraway, some place and some time I don’t know where and when, and more here and now.
After all, no way I’m going to be in the position to aspire to a higher mystery, when I’ve not yet learnt to take my position in this world and in the great scheme of nature.