SELF RESPONSIBILITY-JUNE 2007
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SELF- RESPONSIBILITY
SPEAKING TREE JUNE 2007


“Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: "no one to blame!”

This self-responsibility is the very corner stone of self-realization and yet to reach here, is an ongoing process, like any journey to self intrinsically is.

We all begin by placing responsibility outside self, feeling and saying: “You are responsible”. This is easily identifiable for us all - we hold the dentist responsible for a treatment going awry; the boy friend responsible for the break-up; the government, the judicial system, the police, the plumber even, for our myriad problems. These are but examples of how we hold the ‘other’ responsible and I invite you at this point to view your own so that this does not remain merely an academic understanding.

Then at some point in life, this sense of responsibility expands to an acceptance that we too play a part- that both the other and self are responsible and we thus move to feeling or saying: “We are responsible.” Initially this is more easily discernable in personal relationships and our understanding of their dynamics being a two-way thing! But as we take it wider we perhaps realize that the dentistry did not pan out ideally because we had carelessly delayed vital appointments! Or that the plumber did not perform, as we had not paid him on time or how vital a part we play in corruption by willingly encouraging bribes to meet our ends! Once more I invite you to move beyond the merely intellectual and become aware of your personal experiences at this level of responsibility.

Which brings us to the third phase of responsibility, and its profound understanding that “I am responsible”! In this we move from ‘you’ are responsible, to ‘we’ are responsible to complete self- responsibility, which is truly the beginning of authentic spiritual growth. At this point we acknowledge our creatorhood and view how we are indeed completely responsible for our personal realties, our environment and our world; we view self as the cause of outer effects; we view self as the energy field that draws likewise around us. Most of us are at varying stages of this self-empowering responsibility- from it being wholly intellectual to it being a larger and larger part of our beingness. Thus at this point we would truly observe the boyfriend, dentist, government as a reflection of self, and blamelessly seek to redress the outside by addressing it within!

Once we have truly imbibed this self-responsibility and it becomes as natural a response in our personal lives as the former two, we must expand it further: having moved from you are responsible, to we are responsible, to I am responsible- we then need to stretch to ‘No one is responsible’! This deeper truth is yet intellectual for most, and yet where anyone on the journey to Self is headed. There is a dawning that no ‘one’ is responsible because everything is happening for the larger whole- call it larger self, universe or God! This is not a shelving of responsibility as it may appear, but a deep acceptance of the Oneness pervading all; and the perfection of its functioning! Indeed what might at first amaze us in its intricacy amazes us as it further unravels, in its utter simplicity!

And as these inner workings of Self become increasingly apparent and unambiguously clearer to our waking consciousness we take one more leap – to the eureka that there is nothing to be responsible for! Eastern and western concepts like Maya- the play of creation, Shakespeare’s ‘the world is but a stage’ and even quantum physics theory of the ‘Now moment’ have tried to ‘describe’ this deepest of understandings but truly, can only point towards it. It is a real-ization and I break the words in two to emphasize that this stage cannot be an intellectual understanding but must be as experientially ‘real’ as the former experiences we have journeyed along! Analogies may help: you would not invade a country on awakening from a dream of being attacked! Nor would you penalize the friend who jails you while playing monopoly!

For most of humanity, the first two stages of responsibility are completely experiential and the last two perhaps completely intellectual- with most being poised somewhere along the middle! But this centrifugal point of complete self-responsibility is what critical mass humanity must expand into as their experiential truth as ‘real’ as the former two! For once that empowering tilt happens, will we as a race be able to make the latter as natural a part of our human experience too.
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